Labrador businessman found guilty of sexual assault, interference

Warwick Pike, who once sat on the board of the now-defunct Air Labrador, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a girl younger than 16.

Warwick Pike, a former owner of Air Labrador, has been found guilty of incidents from over 15 years ago

Warwick Pike exits the courtroom in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Tuesday. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

A Happy Valley-Goose Bay businessman has been found guilty of sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault of a person under the age of 16.

The jury in the Supreme Court trial took one day Wednesday to decide that Warwick Pike — who sat on the board of directors for the now-defunct Air Labrador, which was owned by his family — had inappropriately touched the complainant in the mid-1990s and the year 2000.

The woman's identity is protected because she was a minor at the time of the assaults.

Woman testifies she intentionally crashed snowmobile

From the age of 12, the woman testified Tuesday, she would often ride on a snowmobile with Pike and was uncomfortable with the way he would hold her, with his hand between her legs.

One day, she said, when the touching was worse than usual, she intentionally crashed the snowmobile to make him stop.

Court also heard that Pike reached over and touched her between her legs while he was teaching her to drive a truck and he didn't stop until she shouted at him.

Pike denies inappropriate touching

She said Pike later apologized to her and told her he acted inappropriately. He also told her not to tell anybody, as it could ruin his business and cause his partner to leave him, she said.

Pike testified — as the woman sat in the gallery and listened — that the conversation never took place.

He said he recalled hitting a snowbank with her while on a snowmobile but said he never touched her inappropriately. He said the snowmobile didn't have any handles to hold on to, he said, but added that even if it had he would have held onto her around the waist because she was very small at the time.

He also recalled teaching her to drive his truck, but denied any sort of sexual touching during those lessons. He said she had a problem with pressing the brake with the wrong foot sometimes, and he may have tapped her on the leg to help her learn. But he testified that he never had any reason to think he had done anything inappropriate.

Pike was released on conditions but must be back on court on Friday to set a date for sentencing. He is facing up to 10 years in prison.