Ottawa

Ottawa Mountie and wife found guilty of abusing man's 11-year-old son

A Mountie and his wife have been found guilty of what Ottawa police sources have called the "worst case of abuse" the force has seen, involving the Mountie's then 11-year-old son.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

An Ottawa Mountie and his partner have been found guilty of abusing the Mountie's son. (Courtroom sketches by Sarah Wallace)

A Mountie and his wife have been found guilty of what Ottawa police sources have called the "worst case of abuse" the force has seen, involving the Mountie's then 11-year-old son.

The RCMP officer — who is suspended from the force without pay — was arrested in February 2013 along with his wife.

They had both pleaded not guilty to charges including aggravated assault, failing to provide the necessaries of life and forcible confinement. She faced an additional charge of assault with a weapon, and he faced additional charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

On Monday, the 45-year-old Mountie was found guilty of aggravated assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The boy's 38-year-old stepmother was found guilty of assault with a weapon and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The pair cannot be named due to a publication ban that protects the boy's identity. He is now 14 years old.

Couple ordered back into custody

The Mountie hung his head as Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger read the verdicts Monday. His wife's face was red and tears rolled down her cheeks.

The couple had been out on bail for the trial, but after Monday's guilty verdicts the judge ordered them back into custody following a request by the Crown.

The Mountie's defence team argued he's still a good father to his two other children and that bail shouldn't be revoked, but Maranger rejected that argument, citing the public's need for confidence in the system.

The pair will remain in custody as they await sentencing. The stepmother is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2, at which time a sentencing date will be announced for the Mountie.

"She always expressed her remorse in regards to her role in this matter," said the stepmother's lawyer, Anne London-Weinstein.

"She did that in her earliest statement to police and she's glad that the trial is over. It was a very difficult trial, and she's hopeful the little boy in question is able to get on with his life." 

'Half-starved, burned and battered'

In his verdict, Maranger said the video evidence presented in court was unequivocal and overwhelming, and he rejected the defence team's argument that the Mountie was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Last fall, the court was shown several videos from 2013, seized from the Mountie's phone, of the boy naked, crying and restrained in the basement of his family's home. 

That a parent could do the things that were done to [the victim] was gut-wrenching.- Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger

The videos, made one month before the couple was arrested in February 2013, show the small boy breathing heavily and looking gaunt with his ribs sticking out. A man is heard repeatedly taunting and humiliating the boy, who was tied to the basement wall.

Onlookers inside the courtroom were seen wiping away tears and the last video left Maranger shielding his face.

"This was a very difficult trial. That a parent could do the things that were done to [the victim] was gut-wrenching," Maranger said on Monday in his decision.

"The viewer is left with images that are forever etched in the darkest, saddest recesses of that person's memory. That being said, however, the fact that this half-starved, burned and battered 11-year-old could somehow summon the strength to escape his cruel captivity and later seemingly rise above it, is a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit," Maranger added.

Mountie says he has PTSD

During the trial, the Mountie told court he had been diagnosed with severe PTSD, chronic depression and dissociative personality disorder as a result of the sexual assaults he endured when he was eight years old.

He testified he beat his son because he was experiencing flashbacks of the men he claims sexually assaulted him as a young boy in Lebanon.

He felt "the devil lived" in his son, whom he described as being "morally wrong," volatile and defiant. The Mountie admitted to tying his son up in the basement with chains and plastic ties.

The boy testified he was "scared to death," and that his father would threaten him with a revolver among other punishments, which included hundreds of pushups, praying on his knees for hours and being locked in the bathroom. 

now