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.
The man who sexually abused a young boy in Oliver is serving four years and six months in jail.
T.J.B., 23, will carry the lifetime label of sexual offender after being convicted for sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching with a person under 16 last year.
“Not only did you take away my son’s innocence and security, but you also took away my security and trust,” the victim’s mother told the court, reading her victim impact statement aloud prior to the sentencing.
“What gets me worse is that he is the victim and he has to be treated like a prisoner while you walk around like the cock of the walk,” she said.
“(With) all that we’ve gone through, (the victim) is a very strong, very brave, very courageous boy, and in my eyes, yes, that makes him a hero. Not a hero for attention but a hero that has enough strength to tell his story and get a child abuser off the streets,” she said. “I’m very proud of my son.”
T.J.B. wore a black suit and showed little emotion, saying nothing.
A statement from the now 12-year-old victim, whose identity is protected by a routine publication ban, was read aloud by Crown counsel Catherine Crockett during the sentencing on Friday.
“I feel sad,T.J.B. was like a brother to me,” the statement read.
“I had nightmares after this all happened. I was scared to sleep in my room,” the letter continued.
T.J.B. denied the charges during the trial last August, and continues to deny his involvement with the offences that occurred from June 2011 through August 2012.
At the end of last year’s trial, closing arguments from defence counsel Michael Welsh focused on what he termed “major inconsistencies” in the boy’s statements to police and later at a preliminary inquiry and trial.
The boy “likes to tell stories and embellish stores and make stories up because they make him the centre of attention,” Welsh said.
Crockett retorted that it’s “hard to imagine a scenario (in which) a child would think this up themselves,” during her closing arguments.
“These are simply not things he would know about at that age,” she said.
Acquaintances of T.J.B.’s expressed their own denial that he could commit such acts, writing letters of support that were submitted to the court, saying they would feel safe with him having access to their children.
After serving his sentence, T.J.B. was ordered by the court to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family. He was also ordered to not attend any public park or area where people under the age of 16 are present, nor can he have contact anyone under the age of 16, online or otherwise, unsupervised.