Update: March 22, 2018 — The B.C. Court of Appeal subsequently overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial. T.J.B. was acquitted at that second trial.
Warning: Story contains some explicit content
An Oliver man charged with sexually abusing a young boy denied under cross- examination engaging in any inappropriate behaviour.
T.J.B., 23, is charged with sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual assault in relation to offences alleged to have occurred between June 2011 and August 2012.
Crown counsellor Catherine Crockett asked T.J.B. if he had ever been naked or exposed himself around the boy or if any form of sexual touching, dry humping or anal sex had occurred, or if he had shown the boy pornographic videos or images.
“No, I did not,” responded T.J.B., who is free on bail.
The trial began this week with the 12-year-old testifying about the alleged sexual incidents with T.J.B.. The boy told the court T.J.B. showered him with gifts and threatened to take them away if he told anyone about the sex acts.
Crockett talked about the amount of time T.J.B. spent with the boy, taking him snowboarding, to the movies and swimming. The two also played computer and video games in the basement of T.J.B.’s mom’s house, where T.J.B. was living.
T.J.B. also volunteered at a school and while he was there, the principal noted what he believed was inappropriate hugging by the boy, so he asked that T.J.B. stop volunteering there.
T.J.B. recalled a few occasions where he drove the boy from his mother’s house in Oliver to his father’s house and two occasions when he slept over at the boy’s father’s house.
Crockett talked about the amount of time T.J.B. was spending time with the boy, and noted that although he had also grown closer to the boy’s family, including the boy’s sibling, he spent more time with the boy than with anyone else in the family.
“I suppose I gave him a bit more time than the rest of the family,” said T.J.B., who noted that he cared about the boy.
He agreed with Crockett the two of them had developed a big brother-little brother type relationship and that he loved the boy — ” as a brother.”
When asked by Crockett about the accusations the boy made towards him, T.J.B. said he couldn’t speculate on the boy’s state of mind.
T.J.B. said the first time he’d heard anything about him being a “pedophile” was while he was attending a dance at the local Portuguese club. A man approached him and said rumours had been circulating that he was a pedophile and had abused the boy.
“I was very upset and very shocked,” said T.J.B.. “I didn’t know how to act. After I heard, I stormed off.”
He filed a report with the RCMP, “because the allegations were untrue,” and hoped at the time that the rumours would stop.
The trial is expected to continue sometime in mid-October before Justice Catherine Bruce.
On Thursday arguments about the father of the alleged victim being a supporter of the Hells Angels temporarily halted the trial. Defence council said the father’s relationship, whether he is a member or supporter of the motorcycle group could call into question his credibility. During cross-examination the father clarified he’s a Hells Angels supporter, not associate.