Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.



Picton Sex Testimony

May 18, 2012 permalink

Two former foster girls have testified against their foster father, saying he demanded oral sex from them when they were ages nine and ten.



Graphic testimony at trial

PICTON - Editor's note: This story contains graphic testimony and may not be suitable for all readers.

It took five years before police laid charges against a county foster parent, despite consecutive sexual assault accusations from two girls removed from his care just months apart.

Both girls testified to filing sexual abuse complaints to the Prince Edward County Children's Aid Society in 2005, but no charges resulted from the disturbing allegations levied against their former foster father, a Picton jury heard Wednesday.

The court heard that allegations from one of the girls, now 18-years-old, was thrown out by police and the county child welfare agency, after medical evidence showed that the accused had surgery that left him physically unable to ejaculate, while she claimed his penis ejected fluids during one of their numerous sexual encounters.

The second girl told the jury that, in 2005, she too informed CAS officials about having sex with the accused several times, during her six-month 2004 stint at the home of the accused, who relocated from Wellington to Bloomfield during her stay.

The three complainants, now in their late teens, cannot be named because of a court-imposed publication ban restricting the release of any information that would identify them.

The embargo also extends to the name of the 72-year-old accused, who stands charged with three counts each of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual touching.

Lawyers say the ban could be lifted to allow the media to publish the name of the accused later in the trial, which is scheduled for four weeks.

The accused was charged in October 2010 for sexually abusing the girls who were nine and 10 when the acts were alleged to have occurred.

A Picton jury sat through hours of graphic revelations from the two girls, one of whom shared her ordeal at the Wellington home, eight years ago, on Tuesday.

The panel also witnessed emotional breakdowns from both witnesses who became overwhelmed while sharing sex-laced revelations.

Defence lawyer Mike Pretsell dedicated his Wednesday morning cross-examination to boring holes in the testimony of the first of three girls to take the stand.

The 18-year-old denied his accusation that she fabricated the story to shield her from being plucked from her mother's home and thrown back into CAS care in 2004, the year she left the Wellington home of the accused.

Pretsell also scrutinized her hazy recollection and prior inconsistent statements to police where she made no mention of oral sex, but those allegations were in her testimony at trial. The Belleville lawyer also attacked her memory of how and when the abuse happened.

“I didn't want to talk about it,” she said, about her reason for not being forthcoming to police. “I remember it now.”

The second girl to testify said she first mentioned the accusations to a child welfare lawyer in 2005, who brought it to the attention of the CAS. Now 17-years-old, she testified to having sex with the accused at least five to six times during her brief stay.

She described one instance where “he laid me down and held my arms,” before the sex and another in her bedroom where “he had sexual intercourse with me and left.” The complainant recalled the accused mentioning that “he couldn't have kids because he was fixed.”

This is the second trial, in less than a year, that involves allegations of sex crimes being levied against foster parents who had children place in their care by the county agency. A couple was sentenced in the fall to seven years combined for similar crimes.

Source: Belleville Intelligencer

Addendum: The accused testifies he continued as a foster parent because he needed the money.



Foster parent: We needed the money

PICTON - Mounting debt motivated a county foster parent to continue caring for young girls even after two claimed he sexually assaulted them in 2005.

While insisting that financial gain never fuelled his interest in foster parenting, the accused admitted that he became increasingly dependent on the monthly cheques from the child welfare office, after overspending sunk the family into debt.

“We thought we would have them for the rest of our lives,” he said. “I wanted to adopt them. I wanted to walk them down the isle.”

A Picton jury heard how the foster father splurged on multiple family vacations, including seven cruises and purchased extravagant gifts such as three individual rings, that cost $800 each, for three girls ages nine and 10, placed in his care by the Prince Edward County Children's Aid Society.

“Through the whole time we were always in a hole,” he said. “We always spent more than the allowances. We had to keep taking kids to generate money to pay back what we spent.”

The CAS allotted allowances including up $65 per month for clothes for each child and a $40 weekly stipend (per child) soon became insufficient to cover soaring expenses for the couple who fostered more than a dozen children up until 2010.

The grey-haired 71-year-old said, in retrospect, he probably erred in his decision to continue offering foster care up until he was charged in 2010 — even after two girls who stayed at his Wellington home in 2004 accused him of molestation and prodding them to partake in sexual inappropriate activity.

“I needed the money,” he told Crown attorney Jodi Whyte, who commenced her cross-examination Thursday afternoon.

A court-imposed publication ban blocks the media from releasing any information that could identify the complainants.

The embargo also extends to the name of the accused, who stands charged with three counts each of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual touching.

The court already heard that the other two complainants, who left the home just months apart in 2004, both filed sexual abuse complaints to police and the CAS in 2005, but no charges resulted from the allegations. No charges were laid until the third girl claimed she too had sex numerous times with the accused.

The jury has already heard from the three complainants, who exposed numerous instances of alleged sexual abuse, including disturbing accusations from one complainant that she engaged in more than 100 sexual acts with her former foster father.

“I kept getting warned by the CAS about that (providing foster care),” said the accused, who became a foster parent with his wife in 2003.

The accused has denied all allegations, claiming he was unable to have sex due to a1995 prostate cancer surgery.

The jury also watched an excerpt from a video statement captured at the Prince Edward County OPP detachment in October 2010, where the accused refused to capitulate to the suggestions of OPP Sgt. Jim Smith, a police officer renowned for extracting a confession from the disgraced Russell Williams.

The officer even resorted to trickery by concocting a story about a video recorder being used by one of the girls to capture the alleged sexual acts. But the accused denied those claims, calling them a lie.

“I have nothing to regret or feel bad about,” he said. “There's nothing to show.”

Whyte will continue her cross-examination today. The court is also expected to hear from CAS officials including, Bill Sweet, the head of the agency.

Source: Belleville Intelligencer

Addendum: Convicted on June 6.