Newspaper article The Canadian Press

N.B. Judge Overturns Conviction of Grandfather Accused of Sexual Interference

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

N.B. Judge Overturns Conviction of Grandfather Accused of Sexual Interference

Article excerpt

Judge acquits grandfather in sex assault case

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FREDERICTON - A man who was shunned by his community and reviled by family when he was wrongly branded a sex offender has been acquitted of sexually assaulting his step-granddaughter after the girl admitted she was forced to make up the story by her grandmother.

The man, who is referred to only as D.A.M. in court documents, outlined the devastating toll the wrongful conviction has had on his life since the little girl falsely accused him of touching her sexually when she was 12 years old.

"Not only was I convicted and incarcerated for something I did not do, but I have had to live with being despised by members of my family and the community," he said in a document presented in the New Brunswick Court of Appeal.

"My son's former spouse has kept and continues to keep their three children away from me because his ex-wife now believes that I am a sex offender."

The statements were revealed in court on Jan. 20 after the Appeal Court judge overturned his 2011 conviction, acquitted him and removed all related restrictions imposed on him when he was sentenced to four months in prison and 18 months supervised probation. Those included a firearms prohibition, a DNA order and an order to be registered in the sex offender registry.

The man was originally charged with sexual interference after the little girl alleged that he touched her vagina inside her pants on several occasions. He repeatedly denied the accusations, which were also found to have inconsistencies between what she testified and what she told social workers.

At trial, the girl's mother suggested her daughter had been forced by her spouse's family to fabricate the claims as part of a vindictive feud between the relatives.

The trial judge dismissed the assertion, something the Appeal Court highlighted in its six-page decision. …

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