A Supreme Court judge found a Kelowna stepfather not guilty of one count of extortion for sexual favours and one count of secretly observing or recording nudity in a private place, on Monday (Jan.31).
He was arrested in 2019 after his, at the time teenage, step-daughter reported him to the police for allegedly threatening to release a secretly recorded naked video of her and for asking her to perform sexual favours.
The mother, of the victim, was present to support the stepfather and cheered when the court was adjourned. She gave the accused a hug as he cried tears of joy and said “I can finally come home.”
The step-daughter was not present for the ruling on Jan. 31.
The domestic disputes began when the step-daughter, in grade 12, started dating. Her mother and stepfather did not approve of her boyfriend and repeatedly asked her to break up with him. The parents began imposing curfews and strict rules in the house to prevent the daughter from spending time with her boyfriend.
The young woman alleges that her stepfather threatened to release a video that he had secretly recorded of her if she did not break up with her boyfriend.
She also alleged that he told her he had buried his phone as to not be found and “had buried three other people and wasn’t afraid to do it again,” which she took as a threat. Police executed a search warrant in 2019 but did not find the phone or any condemning evidence.
She claimed that the accused had asked her to perform sexual favours so he could observe, including masturbating and intercourse with her boyfriend, in order to satisfy his “urges”.
The judge explained to the court that the crown was unable to prove without reasonable doubt that the stepfather was guilty.
The man is allowed to return home with his wife and their dogs.
The names of the parties involved have been redacted due to a publication ban to protect the victim.