Sexual abuse trial pits father against his children
Warning: This story contains disturbing details
A court in Harbour Grace has heard disturbing details about a father accused of sexual abuse and forcible confinement.
The father, who cannot be named because of a publication ban that protects his children, faces 11 charges in all, including invitation to sexual touching and corrupting a child.
Crown attorney Lisa Stead said that the father had sex with his wife in front of their children, and asked one of them to touch his penis.
Stead, in in closing arguments to the bench, said one child said "they teached us" by allegedly exposing them to their parents' sexual activity.
His wife, who also cannot be named, has already been convicted on numerous charges related to the abuse of their children.
The father is accused of barring the children in their rooms by tying their doors shut.
But defence lawyer Jason Edwards said the man should be acquitted of three of the charges against him.
Although Edwards conceded in court that the man was an accessory to the confinement of his own children, he argued that the case rests entirely on the differing accounts of the children and their father.
Edwards said that the accounts of the children are inconsistent, and that they admitted under cross-examination that some of the events they said they saw were actually related to them by a sibling.
Edwards also said that there is no third-party corroboration of their evidence, including from doctors and social workers. "This is not a thorough investigation," he said.
The accused is due to appear again in court on Aug. 1, when Judge Jacqueline Brazil is expected to deliver her decision.