The Calgary judge who sentenced a man to 14 years for sexually abusing three women when they were minors made no errors in convicting him, Alberta’s top court has ruled.
In a unanimous decision, a three-member Alberta Court of Appeal panel said Justice Scott Brooker did not fail to give adequate reasons for convicting the Calgary-area man.
And the court went on to say there was no evidence of collusion between the three victims, even though two of them discussed the allegations against the offender, but did not share details.
Brooker accepted the Crown’s argument he should consider the allegations of each victim as similar fact evidence supporting the complaints of each woman.
Defence lawyer Cory Wilson had argued Brooker failed to give an adequate explanation for rejecting his client’s denials of guilt.
“Despite this being a 37-page long decision we have a trial judge who dedicates 18 lines on his evidence to say he was not believable,” Wilson told the appeal judges during oral submissions earlier this month.
But the appeal court noted Brooker, after finding the three complainants were credible witnesses, went on to analyze whether the offender’s testimony was believable.
“The trial judge also reminded himself that even if the appellant’s evidence left him with a reasonable doubt, he was obliged to acquit,” they said.
Brooker convicted the offender, 58, on eight charges relating to allegations from the three adult women who said they were abused by him as children.
Two of the victims were the daughters of his then-girlfriends and a third was a troubled child he had taken in from down his street.
In sentencing, the man in February 2020 to a 14-year prison term, Brooker said there was no excusing his behaviour.
“Frankly, I cannot begin to fathom why (he) did these things to these young and vulnerable children, there can be no excuse for your conduct,” the judge said.
The offender has until Thursday morning to turn himself in.
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