A girl read her victim impact statement in a Whitehorse courtroom the morning of Feb. 26 outlining the shame and fear she felt after being sexually abused by someone she thought was a trusted adult — a former Yukon man now in the midst of a dangerous offender hearing after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 13 girls.
“I am no longer ashamed,” she said, standing at the end of the Crown’s table and facing the man, who was seated by his defence lawyer.
“The only one who should hang their head in shame is you.”
The girl’s and man’s names are both covered by a publication ban.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to be here today and I still don’t, but I realize that it’s important for the court to know this,” she said.
“As a family friend and even just as an adult, you had my trust. I had suspicions that not everything you did was welcome, but as a child, I saw you as an authority…. Now I know that you were in the wrong. Everything about what you did was wrong.”
The girl said she felt “manipulated and stupid” as well as “confused, repulsed and terrified” after being told about the abuse.
“The fact that you preyed on me when I was too young and too innocent to call you out is what affects me the most, because you took that innocence away from me,” she said. “You relied upon the fact that as a child, I would most likely not be taken seriously…. Do you see how seriously they’re taking me right now? I’m fighting back. Do you realize the trauma and grief that I’ve suffered because of you? ”
The girl said that around the time she was told about the abuse, her friends had began “experimenting with boys and relationships, but whenever they would talk about getting intimate with others, all I wanted to do was cry.”
“I was repulsed by the thought of anyone touching me ever again because I was terrified that they would be like you…. To me, a relationship meant that there was room for all the things that were done by you to be done by another man,” she said.
“I became paranoid that there were other men in my life like you. I began questioning everything and everyone around me. That’s not the way for any 14-year-old to live, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.”
But, the girl said, she recently developed the strength to speak out to ensure that no child has to experience what she did.
“There is only one thing that repulses me now, and it’s you… I’m about to finish it so that no child has to go through anything like this by your fault ever again, so that no child, no parent, no friend or even boyfriend will have to go through something like this,” she said.
The girl concluded her statement by turning to address Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale.
“Please,” she said, “do not allow this man to be in a position where he can prey on another child ever again.”
More victim impact statements are expected to be delivered Monday.
Contact Jackie Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org