Ottawa

Ottawa Mountie on trial for abusing son details own sexual abuse as child

An Ottawa Mountie on trial for the severe abuse of his son testified today that he was himself sexually assaulted as a boy growing up in Lebanon.

WARNING: This story contains graphic and disturbing details

An Ottawa Mountie (left) and the victim's stepmother (right) were charged in February 2013 with aggravated assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life in what investigators called "the worst case of abuse" they'd seen. (Courtroom sketches by Sarah Wallace)

An Ottawa Mountie on trial for the severe abuse of his son testified today that he was himself sexually assaulted as a boy growing up in Lebanon. 

Both the man, now 44, and the victim's stepmother were charged in February 2013 with aggravated assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life in what investigators called "the worst case of abuse" they'd seen.

The woman is also charged with assault with a weapon, while the man is also charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

Both have pleaded not guilty. Neither accused can be named in order to protect the identity of the victim, who was 11 years old when the charges were laid. 

The trial resumed Monday after being adjourned last fall.

Abused by neighbour, teacher

The man told court that when he was eight, a boy living next door to him in Beruit assaulted him repeatedly over a one-year period.  

The man claimed he was later assaulted by another man, and again by a trusted teacher at the school where the accused worked with his father. 

"I was ashamed and embarrassed," the Mountie told the court.

The man, who is suspended without pay from the RCMP, recalled exact details of the sexual assaults, but remained composed during his testimony.

He said the abuse happened against a backdrop of civil war in Lebanon, with bombs exploding continually around the home he shared with his parents and five siblings. 

"This becomes your reality," the man told court. "Is the next [bomb] coming down on your head? That's how I lived."

"My life is no longer the same," he said. "I grew up asking why am I being targeted ... I lived with the guilt, shame and anger inside of me for the whole time."

Nightmares continued

The man told the court he experienced nightmares about both the bombings and the sexual assaults for years, even after he came to Canada.

His lawyer, Robert Carew, asked him if the assaults played a role in his relationship with his son, now 14.

In addition to the sexual assaults he said he endured in Lebanon, the man told the court he witnessed another boy about his age performing indecent acts on children in his neighbourhood.

The man likened his own son to the boy he said he witnessed abusing other children. He said his son was "indecent in his touching" of other children, and said the boy had been caught peeking under stalls in a girls' washroom.

Asked by defence counsel asked if he thought his son was exhibiting sexually predatory behavior, the man replied: "Morally, he was dead to me."

The man also testified that while preparing for his entrance exams for the RCMP — a process that included a psychological test — an officer cautioned him against mentioning his ongoing nightmares related to his childhood in Lebanon.  

Last fall the court saw a video of the man's son, naked and restrained in the basement of the family home. 

Testimony resumes Tuesday. This portion of the trial is scheduled for two weeks.