R. v D.K.M, 2023 BCSC 1467

Reasons for judgment from a case involving historical child abuse that included bestiality. The 78-year-old accused was charged with committing sexual offences under Criminal Code sections 151, 152 and 160(3) against his three biological granddaughters between 2004 and 2007. The victims were aged four and 11 at the time.

The offences were first reported when the eldest victim texted an image of a handwritten letter to her mother in November 2019 that disclosed that her grandfather had engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour towards her. She stated she could no longer hold back the anger and frustration she felt nor live with the anxiety and depression the abuse and suppression of it had caused, and seeing her grandparents at a recent family event prompted her to reveal what happened. After receiving the text, the two women spoke on the phone which then led to the victims’ mother contacting her other two daughters separately to ask if their grandfather had also abused them. They each responded independently that he had “had engaged in inappropriate sexualized conduct in front of them but had not touched them” (para.62).

The charges levied against the accused revolved around him masturbating in front of the victims, forcibly exposing them to pornography then suggesting they enact what they had just seen, sexual comments to or about them, and attempting to engage them in sexual touching. The charge under s 160(3), bestiality in presence of or by a child, related to incidents that occurred between April and June 2013 when the victim was around 10 years of age. The accused asked the victim repeatedly to take off her pants until she ultimately complied, then instructed her to touch herself and how to do so. He then brought over margarine from the refrigerator and directed her to apply some to her genitals; once she complied, he picked up his small dog and held it in front of her genital region until the dog began to lick the margarine from the victim.

The judge found that the accused lacked credibility in both his evidence-in-chief and cross-examination, finding that he did not offer his own version of events and his responses were often that he had no recollection or that ‘anything was possible’; during cross-examination, he became argumentative and confrontational, sometimes using foul language that would devolve to outright denial (para.104). The court was satisfied that the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of all offences relating to the six counts the accused had been charged with, with the exception of Count 2 where he allegedly tried to force one of the victims to sexually touch him (para.184). He was found guilty on all other charges.