An Oliver man found guilty of sexually assaulting his pre-teen stepdaughter will spend the next five years behind bars.
Judge Meg Shaw said during her decision on Monday at the Penticton courthouse that sexual predators must pay a heavy price.
The man, who cannot be identified in order to protect the girl, will also have to comply with the sex offender information registration act for 20 years.
The man was found guilty in January of sexual assault, sexual interference of a person under 16 and touching a young person for a sexual purpose. The latter two charges were rolled into the sexual assault charge. These all took place in 2009 while the girl was just 11 and the man was in a common-law relationship with her mother.
The stepfather continues to deny the charges and remains in a relationship with the girl’s biological mother, who the court heard suffers from a brain injury and receives assistance from the stepfather.
During the trial, the girl testified she was too afraid to tell anyone because the stepfather had made threats against her family and convinced her that no one would believe her. It wasn’t until one of her teachers became suspicious that the girl opened up.