Skip to content

Okanagan winery owner named in migrant worker sex assault search warrant

The migrant worker claims that a winemaker sexually assaulted her in early December
A vineyard owner in the South Okanagan was named in a search warrant following an alleged sexual assault in December of 2023. (Black Press File)

A prominent winemaker has been named in court documents connected to an alleged sexual assault of a migrant worker in the Okanagan.

According to a warrant application obtained by Penticton Western News, Randhir “Randy” Toor, owner of Desert Hills Winery in Oliver, is under investigation for an incident at a cabin at Baldy Mountain. As of Jan. 18, Toor has not been charged and the allegations have not been tested in court.

In January, RCMP called on any other potential victims to step forward, without naming Toor but stating that there had been claims made against a “member of the South Okanagan wine industry.

Any victims or others with any information about the allegations were asked to contact the Oliver RCMP investigators, with Spanish-speaking translators available, police said at the time.

The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society in Keremeos also encouraged migrant workers in the community to contact them through their seasonal workers program if they have information to share.

The allegations against Toor, which have not produced any formal charges approved by Crown prosecution, come from a worker employed at a Cawston farm owned by Toor.

The worker, along with two friends, had been picked up from Osoyoos on Dec. 2, and had been driven by Toor to his cabin at Mt. Baldy, according to the warrant application.

The four allegedly had dinner, drank alcohol and spent time in the hot tub before the complainant went to bed. According to the warrant, she woke up to sore genitals, a sore breast and confused memories of being sexually assaulted.

The complainant spoke with her friends the next day about the incident and then approached the farm’s facilitator when they returned to Cawston, who drove them to Penticton Regional Hospital for a sexual assault kit testing.

The warrant sought to search the property at Mt. Baldy for bodily substances, bedding and any contraceptive evidence.

Toor’s lawyer, Vincent Michaels, confirmed the investigation in an emailed statement to Penticton Western News.

“Our client has not been charged with any offence. If he ever is, we will have an opportunity then to better understand the basis for these allegations and to provide a full answer and defence to any charges.”

READ MORE: Oliver’s Toor Vineyards fined $90K for involvement in immigration fraud scheme

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
Read more