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

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. (Black Press Media files)
Island Health issues overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The advisory directs bystanders to an overdose to call 911 and administer naloxone

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Supporter Gordy Dodd cheers on HeroWork Victoria executive director Trevor Botkin, who will be in a lift for 36 hours beside Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress on April 16 and 17 to raise funds for the organization’s next project, a makeover of the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre on Johnson Street. (Courtesy HeroWork Victoria)
HeroWork Victoria tackles makeover of Salvation Army rehab centre

Executive director to spend 36 hours living in a lift as fundraiser

West Shore RCMP is seeking information about a collision involving a car and a bicycle on Six Mile Road, near the Island Highway, at 11:30 a.m. on April 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP seeks information about collision between bike, car

Collision occured on Six Mile Road on April 7 and a bystander got the blue car’s plate number

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read