Father accused of 'monstrous' crimes against 3 daughters appears in court

The Alberta man accused of shocking crimes of abuse against his three daughters made his first court appearance Monday since police released disturbing details of their investigation.

Suspect spoke only once to thank judge as case put over to July

Teenagers who knew the man's daughters as well as others in the town showed up at Evansburg Provincial Court today to see the latest developments in a disturbing case. (Sam Martin/CBC News)

The provincial courtroom in Evansburg was packed Monday with people wanting to catch a glimpse of the Alberta man accused of abusing his three daughters.

The 41-year-old man wasn't there in person but instead appeared on a screen in the courtroom via closed circuit television from the Edmonton Remand Centre, where he remains in protective custody.

He's facing 23 sex charges including incest and procurement of a child for sex.

He's also facing 17 weapons charges.

The accused, who is from a small town west of Edmonton and was arrested in November, cannot be named to protect the identities of the girls.

About 50 people crowded into the Evansburg courtroom, about 100 kilometres west of Edmonton.

Wearing orange coveralls, the accused only spoke once at the end of his hearing to say, "Thank you, your Honour."

His case was put over to July 24, at which time his lawyer Crystal McMahon said he will appear in person before the court.

'Nice kids'

The man is alleged to have abused his daughters many times over the past six years, while the girls were all under the age of 18.

Police described the case as so sickening it was actually "nauseating" for investigators.

One of the daughters was allegedly procured for sex with strangers more than once, with the father recording the encounters on video, police said.

The girls are receiving help from a variety of support services.

Three teenage girls who know them showed up outside court in a show of support.

"They're nice kids," said one of the girls.

"It's pretty scary and really devastating and pretty sickening," said another.

The teens said they had read articles about the case but wanted to see what happened in court for themselves.

The charges against the man include human trafficking, procuring a child for sexual activity, arranging a sexual offence against a child, sexual assault with a weapon, making child pornography and distributing child pornography.

The man was also a cadet instructor, although police have ruled out any victims outside his family.

Crown prosecutors with the Special Prosecutions Branch will handle the case.