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Oliver man guilty of grooming, sexually abusing developmentally delayed teen

The man abused the teen for multiple years
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Kelowna Supreme Court. (Black Press File)

WARNING: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault, and could negatively affect someone who has experienced similar trauma.

An Oliver man was convicted for multiple sexual offences where he victimized a developmentally delayed minor.

Regis Patrick Palmer met the child when they were around 12 to 13 years old in 2009 and he was about 53, according to a recently published Supreme Court Judgement.

After a multi-day trial in Kelowna’s Supreme Court in 2022, Justice S.A. Donegan convicted Palmer of sexually assaulting the child numerous times between 2009 and 2015, as well as making and possessing child sexual abuse material.

The Justice found Palmer’s testimony on the stand not only less than persuasive, filled with inconsistencies, overstatements and “acts of seemingly spontaneous recollection” that made him unreliable.

“I do not believe his denials of guilt, nor do I believe any of his shiftings or, frankly, impossible explanations for the numerous pieces of incriminating evidence. I also find that none of his evidence raises any reasonable doubt about his guilt of the three alleged offences.”

The Justice went into a list of problems that she found with Palmer’s evidence and testimony, including going off on irrelevant tangents in response to questions to cast himself in a positive light, frequently making gratuitous statements about his victim and undermining his own testimony during cross-examination.

Palmer’s contradictory testimony even stretched to when he was presented with evidence, such as video recordings that Palmer had made.

On the other hand, the victim’s evidence was considerably more persuasive, and even though there were minor inconsistencies such as the colour of Palmer’s camera or on certain dates, it was not enough to damage the credibility of the testimony.

The victim testified that they could not recall how many times Palmer had sexually abused them, only that it happened regularly over the multiple-year period. The Justice noted Crown’s point that it would be difficult for any person to count how many times they were abused if they were facing it with such regularity.

“His account of the sexual abuse was extremely detailed, earnest, matter-of-fact, and compelling. … His demeanour and body language during his interviews supported his verbal expressions that he was trying hard to remember details, that he was having unpleasant experiences when he recalled those details, and he actually seemed to be reliving some of those experiences,” reads the judgement. “He had visible and genuine reactions when looking at the sanitized versions of the nine photographs of him.”

In addition to the sexual acts that Palmer performed with his victim, he photographed and kept photographs of his victim’s genitals up until he was arrested and searched in 2018.

At the end of the day, the Justice found Palmer’s “blanket denials of all of the allegations, when considered in light of the totality of the evidence, … simply incapable of belief…”.

Palmer will be sentenced at a later date.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. See the sexual assault fact sheet provided by Victim Services and Crime Prevention. You can also call your local police or VictimLinkBC for information and support.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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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.
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