A West Vancouver man in his 80s has been convicted of sexually abusing his teenaged stepdaughter four decades ago.
The man was found guilty by a B.C. Supreme Court justice of two sexual offences dating back to the 1970s following a trial earlier this summer.
During the trial, the stepdaughter - now in her 50s - testified that her stepfather had sex with her several times, beginning when she was 12.
The woman testified the first incident happened when she was home sick and was alone in the house with her stepfather, who came into her bedroom. The woman told the judge she was scared and in shock at the time. She testified that afterwards, her stepfather told her "Don't say anything to your mom."
The woman testified about other incidents of sexual activity that followed, including one encounter in the basement of a church where he volunteered.
The woman said there were 10 or 12 other occasions when she was a teen or young adult when her stepfather approached her for sex and she refused.
She told the judge she did not tell anyone what had happened until much later in her adult life, after her mother had died.
As an adult, she continued to have a close relationship with her stepfather, until three years ago, when she confronted him about what happened, telling him his abuse had resulted in her inability to sustain relationships or have children of her own.
The woman later went to police. Testifying in his own defence in the trial, the stepfather acknowledged having sex with his stepdaughter, but said it was consensual activity that happened when she was an adult.
But Justice Gregory Fitch rejected that, saying he didn't believe the stepfather.
In his decision, the judge wrote he believed the woman had been sexually abused by her stepfather when she was a teen.
He added the woman's subsequent behaviour as an adult was a result of "her longharboured embarrassment and fear resulting from these incidents and the pathologically distorted entanglement she developed with the accused as a consequence of his decision to impose upon her in her teenage years an inappropriate sexual relationship."
Fitch found the man guilty of two counts, while acquitting him of one count, saying there was reasonable doubt about whether the girl was older or younger than 14 when the sexual abuse started.
Under a court-ordered publication ban, the man cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victim.
A sentencing hearing will be held next month in B.C. Supreme Court.
© Copyright 2013