A teenaged girl was among the victims during one of the worst weekends for assaults against women in Penticton’s history.
Over a span of nine days in 2011, leading up to and including the August long weekend, Penticton RCMP made several arrests ranging from charges of sexual assault, prostituting a child, forcible confinement and others.
Ali Tahmouresifard was in Penticton with friends from the Lower Mainland to take in Peachfest when he was arrested for sexual assault on July 31, 2011. He pled not guilty last week in the Penticton courthouse, but guilty to simple assault.
Crown counsel Debra Pope said two Penticton teens were intoxicated when they met Tahmouresifard in a local park. They were invited to the Stardust Motel, where he was staying, and they proceeded to consume more alcohol.
At one point during the evening the 15-year-old girl became unruly and her friend suggested she lay down on one of the beds in the hotel room. The door remained open at all times and her friend was checking in on her. Pope said Tahmouresifard climbed into the bed with the girl wearing just his boxers.
The 15-year-old girl, who only had flashes of memory of what happened and is believed to have blacked out for part of that evening, said she could recall being kissed by Tahmouresifard and then touched under and on top of her sundress.
In her statement to RCMP, the girl said Tahmouresifard got on top of her and she remembered telling him to stop and pushed him but was too intoxicated to get away. She also told the man she was on her period, which she believed frustrated him. The girl’s friend also saw some of this happening and told the man to leave her alone but Crown counsel said it was to no avail. The 15-year-old eventually got sick on the man’s bed, and when Tahmouresifard became verbally abusive the girls left.
“(The 15-year-old) tripped and because she was wearing a dress her friend noticed she didn’t have her bikini bathing suit bottoms on,” said Pope.
David Millburn, defence council for the man, told the court Tahmouresifard had been at a nightclub that evening and was intoxicated when he left. He said as he was walking back to his hotel he got lost and stumbled upon two young women who told him they were 18 years old. He asked one of them to friend him on Facebook, which later helped RCMP identify the man.
“The complainant advised she was 18 and that is backed up by the statement given by her friend to the RCMP. She looked to be 18 and her friend also thought she was 18. A 15-year-old cannot give consent, but my client made all reasonable requests to find her age,” said Millburn.
Defence said the girls showed Tahmoursifard to his hotel and came up to his room where they consumed vodka together and continued to hang out after the man’s friends returned from the nightclub.
He admits to laying down in the bed wearing boxers and a T-shirt and said things escalated quickly from kissing to what he thought was consensual touching. The man also said he removed the girl’s underwear with her assistance and stopped when she mentioned her period.
A pre-sentence report was requested by the defence and Tahmoursifard is expected to be sentenced by Judge Gail Sinclair in March.