LETHBRIDGE: A 51-year old former Taber man accused of child molestation has been found guilty.
It took a jury only three hours to decide his fate, following a four day trial in which the two victims stated that their step-father sexually abused them between 1995 and 2001, starting when they were just six and eight years old.
Crown Prosecutor Darwyn Ross spoke to the media right after the decision, and discussed what the victims had to go through when testifying, "It was compelling, it stark and it's haunting. They gave particulars and details and it wasn't easy for them to do that, and they mentioned in some ways they weren't even able or prepared to do it even now. They both agreed there's more to be done for their lives, but they're trying to put those pieces together."
The older sibling testified that the sexual abuse began shortly after the man married their mother, and when he ran away the abuse shifted to his younger brother. Both men stated that he would have baths and wrestle naked with them, and it would only get worse from there.
The accused took the stand on the final day of the trial, claiming that both kids offered themselves sexually to him, but he said no. He also admitted to having baths with the boys, but said it was because they had poor hygiene. He commented that he would oil them up and wrestle, but said they wore clothes. He said that he did it with the oldest because he wanted to wrestle like a traditional Greek and he claimed he oiled the younger child to treat a rash.
The mother acknowledged that she knew about the baths and wrestling, but said her husband convinced her nothing was going on and she should not go to the authorities because it would break up the family.
Right after the verdict was revealed, the defence asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared. The case was then adjourned to October 28th at which time a sentencing date will be set.
The name of the 51-year old has not been used to protect the identity of the two victims. His bail has been revoked and he will remain in custody leading up to sentencing.