A man who told court he was “looking for bedbugs” in his young stepdaughter’s room in the middle of the night has been convicted of sexual interference.
Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward said the 35-year-old man, who can’t be named as it would identify his victim, tried to “too smart by half” when he testified on his own behalf.
In response to the accusation of touching his stepdaughter, the man came up with the story about bugs.
“The difficulty for the accused is he admitted he was in (her) bedroom at night,” said the judge. “Why? He said he was looking for bedbugs. Really? In the middle of the night? ‘Ya – that’s when they come out.’
“This time, the court’s conclusion is that his explanation lacks the ring of truth. I do not believe the accused, nor has his evidence raised a reasonable doubt.”
Edward convicted the man in March and asked that a pre-sentence report be created to aid him in sentencing.
The judge ordered a global sentence of two years less one day made up of three months the man had already spent in jail, with no extra credit, leaving 21 months yet to serve.
The man’s name has been added to the sexual offenders database.
Court was told the offences date back three to six years.
The man’s stepdaughter said when she was nine when the man came into her room and put his hand under her underwear. When she woke, the man ducked to the floor and crawled out of the room.
Court also heard that man offered the girl a big jar of money if she would have sex with him.
Edward said the man demonstrated hypocrisy and an “uncouth manner” in talking about his ex-wife and his extensive use of computer dating sites while married.
“So, can the court conclude such a man would proposition a nine-year-old girl?” asked the judge. “Fortunately for (the accused), a revolting man does not equate to a man who is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of propositioning a nine-year-old child.”
That reasonable doubt led the judge to dismiss several counts and stay another.
The man originally faced two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching involving two young relatives by marriage.
Three offences involved a girl who said she had fallen asleep watching the Hannah Montana TV show and awoke at 3 a.m. to find her pants down and the man with his hand on her. He asked her if he could cook her a hot dog and ran into the kitchen.
But the man’s lawyer noted that girl had an underdeveloped brain. She had two emotional breakdowns during her testimony and the man’s denial couldn’t be shaken during cross-examination.
“It left me with reasonable doubt,” said the judge, acquitting him on two counts.