FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

WARNING: This article contains graphic details of a sexual encounter.

A B.C. judge has acquitted a teenage boy accused of sexual assault in a ruling issued earlier this month.

The case centres around an incident that took place on May 3, 2019, when both the teenage boy and the girl who accused him were 16 and attending the same high school. The names of all teens involved are undisclosed because they are minors.

Court documents lay out a story that began on April 30, four days prior, with a flurry of text messages from the teenage girl’s phone to the accused’s phone.

“The focus of their Instagram conversations, each day, was on a planned meeting in the school’s handicapped bathroom during their shared C Block class, for the purpose of a sexual encounter,” Justice Patrick Chen stated.

However, the messages were not sent by the complainant alone – she acknowledged that her friends, K.C. and S.W., would use her phone to text the accused.

Chen took issue with the complainant’s credibility. The messages exchanged between the complainant – and her friends and sister on her phone – and the accused were sexually graphic in nature. The judge said the complainant’s testimony showed her “as a person with a cruel and callous disregard for peoples’ feelings and, more significantly, a callous disregard for honesty and the truth,” while it was clear the accused was “infatuated” with her.

“Complainant testified that her sister and her friends were sending messages from her Instagram account to the accused on May 1, 2019 – many of which were highly sexual and graphically explicit – because ‘they wanted to have fun with it’ and that she agreed to give them her phone to do that. Again, she said, ‘I just didn’t care,’” Chen stated.

“If this evidence of the complainant is to be believed, it would appear that she, her sister, and her friends, all had a low opinion of the accused. It would appear that none of them had good intentions towards the accused, from the beginning.”

There were around 2,000 explicit Instagram messages exchanged, of which the complainant submitted about half while the accused kept all of them. The complainant said she only submitted some – and deleted the rest – because they were “not relevant” to the issue.

Chen said that more than 1,000 messages were sent to the accused over the four days “stoking the accused’s fantasies about the complainant and encouraging him to believe that she felt the same way about him.”

He added that judging by the complainant’s own words, “it would appear that the two of them (complainant and her sister) regarded the accused’s infatuation with her as a joke, laughing at him behind his back.”

The complainant testified that she didn’t know why the accused wanted to meet her in the handicapped bathroom on May 3, only that he wanted to ask her a question, and that she had not read the messages her friends and sister had been sending to the accused on her phone, nor his responses.

Chen said he found it “inexplicable” why the complainant did not check her phone to see what the accused wanted to do in the bathroom on May 3.

The complainant told the court that the accused started kissing her and then grabbed her buttocks, as well as escalating the sexual encounter further. She testified that she removed the accused’s hand from her buttocks and told him “no.” She also said the accused briefly touched her breast, at which point she said she felt “disgusted and scared, began to cry and had a panic attack.”

The complainant said that then the accused asked if she wanted to see his penis, to which she said “no,” but that the teenage boy showed it to her it anyway. She testified that she then left.

The accused told the court a different side of the story. According to him, “the complainant was fully engaging” in all sexual behaviours in the bathroom.

In his conclusion, Chen said he had “no confidence in the veracity” of the complainant’s evidence.

“The complainant’s testimony, apart from its implausibility, contains severe and significant internal inconsistencies. I have serious concerns regarding the complainant’s truthfulness. In my view, the complainant’s evidence makes no sense. It does not have the ring of truth or even the air of reality,” Chen stated.

“Accordingly, I find the accused not guilty.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Court

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

Just Posted

The Township of Spallumcheen collected an honourable mention in the 2020 UBCM Community Excellence Awards for its sustainable service delivery and water improvment district conversion plan. (Photo submitted)
Spallumcheen water district conversion plan gets recognition

Township collects UBCM Community Excellence Award honourable mention

Spallumcheen councillors (from left) Todd York, Gerry Popoff, Christine LeMaire, John Bakker, Joe Van Tienhoven and Andrew Casson join Mayor Christine Fraser (fourth from left) in helping to proclaim the township open for business with new signage off Highway 97A. (Township of Spallumcheen photo)
Being open for business paying dividends for Spallumcheen

Township wins provincial award, new business and building starts increase

John Pavelich’s 83rd birthday had an added surprise; members of Enderby City Council came by his residence to present him with a Lifetime Civic Merit award Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby resident unwraps Lifetime Civic Merit award on 83rd birthday

John ‘JP’ Pavelich has been a pillar of volunteerism in Enderby since 1967

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Oliver Fire Department had to put out a fire on their own training ground, and it wasn’t one they set. (Facebook)
Vehicles torched at Oliver Fire Department training grounds

This suspected arson comes after the cars were vandalized earlier and suspicious fire the night before

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Tavis Stevenson, son of Pam and Bruce Stevenson, founders of The Book Shop on Main St, is the creator of the whimsical animal farm carts seen above The Book Shop. He also painted the book mural in the back alley behind the shop. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
The Book Shop in downtown Penticton is one of those rare gems

The Book Shop, like so many businesses, is wanting to turn the page to the end of this pandemic

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Mathieu Bourgault (13) tries unsuccessfully to deflect past West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick during the Warriors’ come-from-behind 7-6 BC Hockey Leaguje pod shootout victory Saturday, May 8, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors rally to edge Salmon Arm in shootout

Warriors overcome three significant deficits to post 7-6 BCHL pod win in Vernon; Silverbacks finish pod 9-7-2-2

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read