Sex charges to go ahead
Case to proceed despite three decades of delay

NNSL (Feb 26/97) - A man charged with committing sex crimes 21 to 30 years ago in Yellowknife has lost his bid to have charges laid in 1995 stayed in court.

The man, now 53, is facing charges of committing acts of gross indecency and intercourse with a person under 14 years of age.

The indictment charges there was continuous sexual abuse involving touching on a frequent basis in the earlier years and intercourse on many occasions in later years.

The accused argued in a pre-trial hearing the charges are so dated that memories have dimmed and witnesses aren't available or have died.

He also said the charges span too broad a period, aren't specific enough, and suggested the alleged victim has financial motives.

As well, the accused said police carried out investigations 20 years ago but laid no charges, but all relevant police and medical records have been lost or destroyed.

If his request for a stay had been successful, it would meant an effective end to the case.

But Justice Virginia Schuler ruled earlier this month against the legal objections. She said the accused's Charter rights have not been violated despite the length of time that has passed.

Schuler also dismissed the man's argument that two grandparents who could have testified in his favor are now dead. She found "no air of reality to the claim the grandparents could have given helpful evidence for the accused."

Schuler did accept the accused's evidence that the police had investigated three times and told him no charges would be laid, but concluded there still is no abuse of process.

As for the missing or lost records, Schuler ruled the issue should be brought up during trial and considered at that time.

Other pre-trial motions in connection with the case are ongoing or scheduled for this month and next.