Nanaimo court house. (News Bulletin/file)

Nanaimo court house. (News Bulletin/file)

Man accused of molesting child while playing computer game found not guilty

Judge made ruling in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

A B.C. Supreme Court judge in Nanaimo has ruled that a man accused of molesting a child while they played World of Warcraft is not guilty of sexual interference.

The accused is a 71-year-old man, who isn’t being named to protect the identity of the complainant, a 20-year-old transgender man.

While the complainant came forward to Nanaimo RCMP in September 2019 in order to seek closure, and couldn’t recall when the alleged incident occurred, Judge Heather MacNaughton accepted that it likely occurred in December 2010, when the accused visited the complainant’s family in their north Nanaimo residence.

The two had been playing World of Warcraft, an online game, with other family members, when the accused is said to have fondled the complainant under his shirt, primarily rubbing the left chest area and pinching his nipples, MacNaughton said.

The complainant testified that the incident began as a back rub and heard the accused making grunting and huffing noises. Despite moving his body away, the touching did not stop, MacNaughton said during her ruling. The touching happened for a few hours on more than one day.

The complainant’s father saw the accused touching his child’s right shoulder and it made him feel uneasy, said MacNaughton. On another occasion, the father saw the accused’s hand over the child’s shoulder at the front the child’s chest.

The father spoke to his child, who said he didn’t like the contact, MacNaughton said. The father then spoke to the accused and told him they were not comfortable with the accused’s hand on the child’s shoulder. The accused responded by saying the complainant was getting too old for that anyway, said MacNaughton, which the father found troubling.

The family did continue to see the accused, even visiting him at his residence on the Lower Mainland.

MacNaughton said she had to assess the credibility of both parties’ evidence, referring to their truthfulness or honesty, and reliability of evidence. Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, she said. MacNaughton said she didn’t believe the accused’s evidence and on the basis of his evidence alone, she was not left with a reasonable doubt that the alleged touching occurred.

However, finding the accused’s evidence is not reliable doesn’t prove guilt, MacNaughton said. There is no independent evidence of the complainant and accused’s interaction. The father observing the hand over his child’s shoulder did not amount to touching to for a sexual purpose and is not the basis of the indictment.

The father’s impression of the accused’s behaviour and the concern it raised could not lead the judge to conclude that the alleged offence took place. The family didn’t feel concerned enough to cut off contact, until after the complainant’s full disclosure of the incident to his father in 2018, said MacNaughton.

The complainant’s evidence also lacked detail in relation to how the accused reached under his shirt. He did not explain if the accused put his hand down his shirt from the neck, or through the sleeve, or from the bottom. How the accused was able to touch the complainant in the way he recalled is not a peripheral detail which a child might not recollect, giving MacNaughton doubt.

The accused had no prior convictions.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtNanaimo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

(File photo)
Case of COVID-19 confirmed in School District 69 (Qualicum)

Individual was at PASS/Woodwinds, with a last date of attendance of Jan. 22

The Qualicum Beach Cafe team: from left, host owner Eli Brennan, general manager Amy Turner, host owner/chef Alan Tse, chef de cuisine Todd Bright, sous chef Jack Mitchell and pastry chef/baker Noemie Girard. (Submitted photo)
Fresh start: Qualicum Beach Cafe set to offer West Coast dining

New operators bring wealth of culinary, hospitality experience

Professional hockey goalie Connor LaCouvee of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach goalie Connor LaCouvee joins AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners

Backstop returns to North America after stint in Slovakia

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Most Read