A Greater Victoria foster father who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing one of his foster children has been sentenced to four and a half years in custody.
The decision, laid out in a judgment posted on Sept. 3, refers to the accused as C.R.A. due to a publication ban. He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual interference with a person under the age of 16 and one count of making child pornography.
C.R.A and his ex-wife have fostered about 20 children over the years, in addition to their own three children. The victim was 13 years old when the abuse began. The sexual abuse ramped up near the end of a three-year period, where C.R.A. assaulted the victim every time they saw each other.
The victim came under the care of C.R.A. and his ex-wife with her younger brother when she was four years old, spending the next 11 years with the family.
According to the judgment, the sexual abuse began when the victim helped C.R.A. install a dishwasher. She told police that she was confused when he began touching her genitals and told him to stop. When the victim would voice her opposition to the abuse, C.R.A would try to rationalize his behaviour by saying things like ‘everyone is doing it,’ ‘it’s all over the internet’ or, ‘you will feel good in a moment.’
On at least one occasion, C.R.A. told the victim that if she told anyone about the sexual abuse he would go to jail and his life would be ruined. The victim expressed intense feelings of guilt and confusion about this interaction. At least twice, and as often as four times, C.R.A. had sexual intercourse with his foster daughter, forcing himself upon her despite her efforts to push him off.
According to Judge Evan Blake, there are no minimizing factors in the case, but the aggravating factors were ‘plentiful and obvious.’
The judgment describes how in C.R.A.’s life began to unravel when he was in his early 40s when he confessed his romantic feelings for a family friend to his wife, eventually leading to the couple splitting up in 2008. At the same time, his marriage was failing, C.R.A. was struggling to communicate with his own children, who have issues with depression and anger. He began to use alcohol and marijuana to numb himself and began to spend more time with his foster daughter, and over time began to view her “as more of a romantic partner than a foster daughter,” particularly after “he began to notice her maturing body.”
It was noted C.R.A. suffers from major depressive disorder and does meet the criteria for pedophilic disorder. In 2019 he attempted suicide by cutting his wrist with a box cutter.
Judge Blake stated that C.R.A.’s suicide attempt and guilty plea reflect “the attitude of a man who acknowledges his wrongdoing without reservation.”
C.R.A. received a sentence of four and a half years in custody. He is prohibited from being within a kilometre of any place the victim ordinarily resides, is employed, or attends school, as well as being prohibited from contacting or communicating with any person under the age of 16. C.R.A. will also have to comply with the provisions of the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for life.