Sex assault suspect sent for psychological evaluation

Alleged victim's mom says 19-year-old daughter met 42-year-old suspect at local coffee shop where his band played

A man accused of an extended sexual assault on his ex-girlfriend has been ordered to undergo a 30-day psychological evaluation.

The 42-year-old man is in custody, but chose not to be brought by sheriffs into a Penticton courtroom for his first appearance on Thursday.

He’s not feeling quite up to par,” said defence counsel James Pennington, who asked his client be sent to the Lower Mainland for the assessment to determine if the man’s fit to carry on with court proceedings.

A ban imposed by the court prohibits publication of any information that would identify the alleged 19-year-old victim.

The Western News has also chosen to also withhold the name of the accused to protect the alleged victim’s identity.

The accused is charged with five offences, including kidnapping, unlawful confinement and sexual assault with a weapon.

The offences are alleged to have occurred Aug. 10 and 11.

Penticton RCMP said in a press release the accused “allegedly confined and assaulted” the woman.

Following the alleged assault, “the suspect appears to have then taken some pills, resulting in unconsciousness,” the release said.

The female victim successfully freed herself and then drove herself and the unconscious male back from the remote area at which time she called police.”

The accused was taken to hospital in Penticton, where he remained under guard until Tuesday, when he was transferred to RCMP cells.

Outside court on Thursday, the victim’s mother said her daughter first met the accused when she was 14, but they only began dating in April following a meeting at a local coffee shop where his band was playing.

She was unsure when the couple broke up.

The mother said her daughter’s ex-boyfriend was “really controlling of her around her friends,” and their relationship wasn’t widely known.

The alleged victim was not in court on Thursday.

She’s not doing good,” said her mother, who was pleased the accused will remain in custody at least until his next court appearance on Sept. 11.

I’m glad they’re doing something to keep him in, and keep my little girl safe,” the mother said.