Sex assault brings house arrest

A Penticton man was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest for sexual assault on his stepdaughter and her friend

A Penticton man was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest for sexual assault on his stepdaughter and her friend.

The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the females’ identities, was found guilty of the two counts of sexual assault in a trial held in August. The victims were both 18 at the time of the offences in June 2011 and had lived with the man for a month or two while they were looking for work. The man was divorced from his stepdaughter’s biological mother.

It was around 4 a.m. on the day of the offences that the man picked up his intoxicated stepdaughter and her friend from a house party in his car to take them home. The stepdaughter said once they got to the apartment they continued to have a drink with the man. The trio moved into the stepfather’s bedroom, one of the places where they could have a cigarette in the apartment, and that is when he lifted the other girl’s top and groped her. The stepdaughter testified that he laughed and said it was a joke, and minutes later he leaned over and did the same thing to her. The girls both said it was awkward being around the man the following morning.

“He said good thing we aren’t biologically related and we shouldn’t tell anybody,” the stepdaughter testified.

The man also took the stand during the trial and denied anything ever happening.

Crown counsel Susan Greba said during the sentencing at the Penticton courthouse on Tuesday that the man continues to not take responsibility for his actions.

“He just can’t bring himself to revive that memory of what happened because he is so embarrassed and ashamed of it,” said Greba.

Defence counsel James Pennington said his client stood before the court and stated that he never committed the sexual assaults.

“You made the decision and he lives with that,” said Pennington of Judge Meg Shaw’s guilty verdict. “However, give him credit for being consistent. I think something is definitely wrong if he is denying it and then upon your conviction changes that.”