Woman defends man accused of being her daughter’s pimp

Closing arguments will be heard in Penticton Wednesday for man charged with sexual assault and living off the avails of prostitution

The defence for the man accused of sexually abusing his teen stepdaughter and forcing her into the sex trade industry ended last week with the girl’s mother testifying.

“I know the truth,” said the mother.

After the stepfather was arrested last summer, the mother said she was living with the girl and ordered the girl’s boyfriend to leave the residence because she was tired of supporting him. The mother said her daughter was drunk and they got into an argument.

“When she looked at me and said I’ll make sure (stepfather) is out of our lives for good, I knew,” said the mother.

Testifying in support of the stepfather, all of whose names are being withheld to protect the girl, the mother said she never saw anything inappropriate between the two.

“There is nothing to forgive him for because I know he hasn’t done anything,” said the mother during cross-examination.

The mother painted a picture of a drug-fueled lifestyle. She said the stepfather was a binge drug user and both of them dealt drugs while living in Penticton, Osoyoos, Okanagan Falls and in Vancouver.

“I’m sure I wasn’t the perfect parent, but I always made sure there was food on the table and we had a roof over our head. I wasn’t the perfect parent. I made my mistakes,” said the mother.

She said when an RCMP officer came to her door at the Stardust Motel last summer to tell her the man had been arrested, she did not believe the charges.

“I have known (the stepfather) for 15 years and that is just not who he is,” she said, adding her daughter and the man were always close. “(He) stood up to the plate. He was her father. They were best friends and they did everything together.”

Crown counsel asked the mother about information from a witness that said they were concerned about bedroom activities the girl had with the stepfather. The mother said she knew nothing was happening and it was common for the girl to fall asleep in the stepfather’s bed and then later move to her own room or bed.

“All they did was talk. I walked in and out of that room all the time. There was nothing like that going on,” said the mother.

Earlier in the trial, the woman’s son testified that while the family was living in Osoyoos he once heard sexual noises coming from the stepfather’s bedroom while his sister was in there. The son said he was sitting near his mother and asked her if she had heard them and was shot a look from the mother that he understood as mind your own business.

“(He) never, ever said that to me. He never said that to me, so I couldn’t have gave him dirty looks,” said the mother.

While the man was behind bars at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre, the woman said she had called him. The conversations were all recorded and transcribed, with some excerpts submitted as evidence by the Crown. The woman said she had phoned the man to wish him a happy birthday and that her daughter grabbed the phone from her to do the same and had told him about her graduating.

“She still calls him dad,” said the mother.

Closing arguments from the Crown and defence are scheduled to be heard Wednesday in Penticton provincial court.