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Man accused of rape, incest needs to take responsibility, says second alleged victim

A man is accused of raping both his daughter and his wife's sister when they were children
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The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo.

DISTURBING CONTENT: The following story includes frank descriptions of incest and sexual assault

A second complainant took the witness stand Wednesday at the trial of a local man accused of sexually abusing his daughter and sister-in-law decades ago when they were children.

The woman detailed incidents, involving her sister's husband, that she told the court began when she was eight or nine years of age and continued until she was 15.

At the beginning of the trial Tuesday, the accused pleaded not guilty to rape, incest, sexual intercourse with a female under 14 and two counts of indecent assault.

The offences are alleged to have occurred more than 40 years ago.

A publication ban, imposed by Superior Court Justice Michael Varpio, prohibits reporting any information that could identify the two women.

On Wednesday, the woman, who is in her 60s, testified that the first incident occurred when she was spending the night at her sister's home, watching television in the basement rec room.

She said the accused came downstairs, turned off the lights, suggesting it was better to watch TV in the dark, and then called her over to him.

"He unzipped his pants, took out his penis, and said 'have you ever seen anything so beautiful in your life,'" she told assistant Crown attorney Trent Wilson.

"I can still recall how grossed out I was, it was the ugliest thing I ever saw," she said, adding "I still get shivers when I think about it."

The woman said her brother-in-law asked if she wanted to touch it, and she can't remember if he took her hand and made her do it, or if she did it on her own.

She said she didn't tell her sister what had happened, because "he told me that it was very special between him and me."

The court also heard about times when she said the accused was teaching her to swim, and with his hand under the water, put his fingers inside the crotch of her bathing suit and touched her.

The complainant testified this happened over the course of several years, when she was in the eight-to-11-year-age range.

Her brother-in-law also would take her for rides on his motorcycle, pull off the road into the bush, take out his penis, pull down her pants, and rub it against her vagina, she said.

This happened several times, "any opportunity he had and he had many opportunities because he was part of the family."

She also described similar incidents when he took her on snowmobile rides, explaining "I wasn't safe in the winter either."

When she was 14, she said the accused was giving her a ride home in his car, when he digitally penetrated her. "It was very, very painful. I cried, asked him to stop."

The woman told the court she went to police in November 2016, after she learned that her niece had filed sexual abuse charges against her father.

She said she had felt guilty and "felt as if I had told years ago she (her niece) would have been safe."

The complainant insisted she "absolutely" never heard any specifics about what the younger woman was alleging, and only learned from the subpoena she received this summer that the charges included rape and incest.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what he did to her," she told Wilson.

She also said she never discussed the details with her niece.

"Why would (she) and I want to have a conversation about what a monster did to you? Why would you want to share that aspect of your life?"

As well, she never shared the intimate details of what the accused had done to her with others, only that he had sexually abused her, she said.

On Thursday morning, during cross--examination by defence lawyer Wayne Chorney, she also maintained she would never "tell my sister what her husband did to me."

"I told her I was sexually abused by him. I would never, never tell the details."

Chorney questioned why she continued to go for motorcycle and snowmobile rides with his client if she knew what might happen.

"I was a child and I thought like a child," she told him, explaining there "was always hope that I wouldn't have to pay a price to enjoy a ride."

She said she initially had felt there was no need to come forward with her allegations in 2016 because she was hoping he would take responsibility and ownership of "his heinous crime without me having to become involved."

The complainant said she thought he was despicable, but didn't feel anger toward him, and if he had only been able to admit what he did there would have been no need to add more charges.

"I'm not out to crucify him. I'm out to say I want him to accept ownership and responsibility," the highly emotional woman told the court.

"There is no more heinous crime in the world than to abuse a young child."

When Chorney suggested she would like to see the accused found guilty she agreed.

"I don't really care what happens to him as long as he admits what he has done."

Calling the accused repulsive, she said she doesn't care if he goes to jail.

"I don't care if he drops dead. I do care that he says he did this and it's a heinous crime."

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