Edmonton

'You need to know the truth of what I've done,' sexually abusive father tells court

A father who sexually assaulted his three daughters over several years spoke for two and a half hours in an Edmonton courtroom Tuesday, alternating between anger and pleading, defiance and sadness. 

Warning: this story includes graphic and disturbing details

A convicted sexual offender spoke for two and a half hours Tuesday in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench. (Craig Ryan/CBC)

A father who sexually assaulted his three daughters for several years spoke for more than two hours in an Edmonton courtroom Tuesday, alternating between anger and pleading, defiance and sadness. 

At times he fought back tears. 

The Evansburg-area man will be sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to 10 charges that span six years, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, human trafficking, incest, making child pornography and a weapons offence. 

Given his final chance to address the court, the 44-year-old man slowly rose in the prisoner's box and pulled a thick stack of papers from a manila envelope. 

"Indulge my craziness for a bit and see where it goes," he told the court. "You need to know the truth of what I've done. We're going to find out if I'm the real monster I've been made out to be."

Three armed sheriffs surrounded the prisoner's box at all times. Their hands were often on their weapons. 

Another two sheriffs kept watch from the back of the courtroom. 

The father expressed no remorse for his crimes. 

I never should have been charged- Father 

"I never should have been charged," he said. "I never should have had to stand in court and plead guilty." 

Though his wife and daughters were not in the courtroom, most of his words were directed at them. 

He started by attacking his middle daughter, the girl he began sexually abusing when she was 12 years old. The sexual assaults and sexual exploitation continued for six years.

The father told those in the courtroom he would finally divulge what he called "a very real hidden truth."

"I am not claiming I never had sexual contact with [her], but things didn't go down the way I've been accused," he said. "There's obviously a very physical and emotional relationship going on here."

The father's face grew more and more grey as he spoke.

He claimed he twice asked his middle daughter to marry, and said she accepted the second time. There was no indication of how old the girl was at the time. 

"We made vows to each other," he said. "We then joined together as husband and wife."

The father said he repeatedly offered to end the relationship, but his daughter made the choice not to.

"Because of the decisions you and I both made years ago, you and I are husband and wife," he said. "Your husband loves you, and that is never going to change." 

He failed to mention anything about the videotapes seized by RCMP that show him turning his naked, blindfolded daughter over to strange men for them to sexually assault her.

His daughter was 21 years old in June when she delivered her victim impact statement to the court.

"I still struggle day to day knowing that you are a monster," she said at the time. "No child should ever have to go through that kind of pain.

"You've always used the Bible to justify your despicable behaviour. If you truly loved your now ex-wife and children, you would never have been able to do the disgusting and vile acts of evil you committed."

'My life shouldn't be thrown away'

At one point, the father directly addressed Court of Queen's Bench Justice Vital Ouellette about the relationship with his middle daughter. 

"My actions are contrary to the law and therefore I accept this situation," the man said. "But I do honestly believe this system is wrong and my life shouldn't be thrown away."

He described himself as "a man of love" who thought the feelings he had for his daughter were mutual. 

"The problem is that particular love is deemed forbidden by our social standards," he said.

At one point, the man showed a picture of his ex-wife, the mother of his children, to the judge, noting the scratches on her face in the photo. He said they were caused by him repeatedly kissing the picture. 

He voiced concern for her future salvation. 

"If you think for one second I'm OK with my wife, my best friend and confidante, spending eternity burning in hell, you are mistaken," he said.

The father admitted he has a recurring nightmare that features his two "wives" at the gates of hell. He said Jesus comes to take him to heaven and he tries to trade his life for theirs to no avail. 

God clearly loves me more than the rest of you.- Father

"God clearly loves me more than the rest of you," he said, as he promised them eternal devotion. 

"I will never deny either of you as my wives. Fix this and get your butts back to God. And back to your husband."

The Crown has asked for a 29-year sentence, arguing the father's guilty pleas did not signal any remorse. 

The defence has suggested a prison term from 16 to 18 years.