Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A truly horrible case of child abuse

Child abuse in any form no matter h0w brief it may be; is a crime and deserving of punishment.  The two people I am describing to you in this article are well deserving of punishment. I can’t give you their names in order to protect the name of the boy they abused other than to say that the father was forty-four years of age and his son was eleven years of age. I don’t know how old the stepmother was. The boy’s father was an anti-terrorism investigator with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP a federal police service in Canada) and they lived in the city of Kanata that is west of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The father was suspended from the RCMP after he was arrested. 

The boy’s father and stepmother, both free on bail, were each charged with aggravated assault, forcible confinement, and failure to provide necessities of life. They were also prohibited from communicating with one another while on bail. I have to presume that they both lived apart after they were released from custody.

Before their trials in 2015, the images of the abuse filmed by the boy’s father were the most horrific the investigating police officers said they had ever seen.  The images were of a frightened, naked and shackled 11-year-old boy in their basemen where the boy had been kept. He had been shackled in the basement next to a slop bucket he used as a toilet as the rest of his family went about daily life upstairs. His father claimed that he thought his son was an enemy who had invaded his “private life” so forced his son to sleep on the basement floor at age seven.

The series of haunting videos — 45 minutes, and 12 seconds in all — were seized from the 44-year-old father’s cell phone on the day of his arrest, hours after his emaciated son escaped his suburban dungeon in search of water on February 12, 2013..

Can you believe it?  The boy’s father and step mother after being arrested were later released on bail. I presume that the justice of the peace concluded that they weren’t a flight risk and a danger to any other children in the community.  or any other child that had been living with them. I have to presume that other children in their home would have been removed.

The boy’s father was also charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm, and three counts of assault with a weapon (handcuffs, wooden stick, and a barbecue lighter). The stepmother, a 36-year-old federal government employee, was also charged with assault with a weapon (a wooden spoon).

The boy’s father and stepmother, both free on bail, were each charged with aggravated assault, forcible confinement, and failure to provide necessities of life. They were also prohibited from communicating with one another while on bail. That meant that they had to live apart.

The videotaped interrogations by the police of this evil duo were first shown in court in 2016, reducing police detectives and lawyers to tears. It was one of those times when a courtroom really did fall silent.

The father admitted that he confined his son in the basement, starved him and burned his genitals because he thought his son was the devil.

The boy’s relatives in the courtroom were aghast at what they were seeing and hearing, The boy’s father kept his head down for most of the trial but he rubbed his eyes after the few times he looked up at the screen. Was he trying to garner sympathy from the judge? If so, he would get about as much sympathy from the judge that a pig gets when it is being led to a slaughter house. Incidentally, the trial was by a judge without a jury.

In the video, the naked, emaciated boy is seen sobbing as he promises his father he’ll stop lying. The starving boy looks frightened beyond description. He says he’ll be a good boy and stop picking the padlock on his shackles. While sobbing, he cries out, “I’ve had enough of my punishment. I’ll stop lying.  I’ll show you I can change. I’m going to keep my locks as tight as possible on my feet.” He then sobs, “I want my family back.” as the boy cries in the January 3, 2013 video. Other than seeing his father and stepmother, he hadn’t seen his siblings since he was seven years old. At that time the video was made, the boy was handcuffed behind his back and chained in the unfinished basement.

The father is heard the video demanding the boy to confess to his “sins,” including the time he kissed a girl’s hand as they sat up in a tree. The father responded, “You haven’t repented yet! You will weep blood for what you have done. I don’t see you on your knees yet.”

While his son was chained with his hands secured behind a post, his father said to him in English and French, “If you’re in this position, it’s because someone (the boy’s father) has had enough of you. You will pray that Jesus will take you back after all of this and that your parents will take you back.”(The father and stepmother)

In one of the videos, the boy’s father threatened to distribute the video “to the people you most care for.” I wish he had done this because those that saw the video would have called the police and the boy’s suffering would have come to an abrupt end.

The father said he chained and handcuffed his “out-of-control” son in the basement because he had run out of options. He also admitted that he rationed the boy’s meals down to just two peanut-butter pitas a day. The father, who told police “I hate myself for it”, also confessed that he burned his son with a BBQ lighter and once hit him so hard with the back of his hand that the boy was left with a broken tooth.

The boy, who testified, said he’d been trying to escape for a month. He weighed only 50 pounds on the day he escaped. The boy still expressed loyalty to his father after escaping his chains.

After the father was arrested, his son said to the Kanata police investigators,  “My dad didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t want him to go to jail,” The boy also felt like he was the one who did something wrong. “My dad is in the RCMP. He would know.”  It is safe to say that the boy had been brainwashed by his father.

The boy was assured by the investigators that he did nothing wrong. It wasn’t the first time Ottawa police got a call about the child. Two years earlier, the boy had gone to a neighbour’s saying he was hungry and wanted to stay the night because he was being punished at home. Police were called and returned him to his home after his father assured them that his son was being treated properly.

The father while testifying at his trial before Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger said, “I had an enemy in front of me. Me and my son were at war. I didn’t care for anybody’s feelings except my own … the pain he was putting me in … I was in pain and fear the whole time,” The father testified that when he watched the videos, it was like he was looking at someone else. Someone, anyone, other than himself.

 He was mounting a PTSD defence by claiming that he didn’t know his actions were wrong or had the mental capacity to form the intent needed for a conviction of a crime. The father knew that if the judge was gullible enough to swallow that defence, he wouldn’t be sent to a prison where his fellow inmates would make mincemeat of him for being a former cop and an abuser of a child.  Instead he would be sent to a mental institution where he could later convince the doctors that he is OK and subsequently be released back into society.

The father also testified that his wife, the boy’s stepmother never witnessed any of the abuse he brought upon his son.

The father in this case won full custody of the boy after his biological mother died in 2009. A child psychologist had testified that although the boy’s parents reported their son was a delinquent, he found nothing of the sort, and reported that he was an extremely intelligent kid, despite his father’s “terrorizing.”

On the day the 11-year-old boy finally broke loose from his chains and escaped his Kanata basement. In the February, 12, 2013, the father called 911 and said he had come home to find the front door open and his son gone.

He claimed that he was innocent of any wrongdoing done to his son. It was a call for help, but it sounded more like a confession when he said to the 911 operator. “I hit him hard.  I did bad things to him. I regret it.”

I guess he (the father) convinced himself that since he hadn’t done any wrong—or so he later claimed in court, he could convince the police that he had done no wrong to his son and that they would return his son to his custody. As it turned out, after the boy told the police how he had been abused by his father and stepmother so it was the boy’s father and stepmother who were placed in custody before they were later released on bail.  

During the trial and cross-examination of the father on trial for torturing and starving his son, Ottawa Crown attorney Michael Boyce used the accused’s own words to firmly establish that he knew he had done something wrong. So much so, that he expressed regret in the 911 call and later in a police interview. He also said, “I didn’t know what the hell I was doing,”

He told the court he was in a “deep fog” and didn’t appreciate the “gravity” of how he had mistreated his son. “I did not think or rationalize. Things were about me and my pain. Somewhere along the way, I had no touch of reality He also told court that his 911 call was a “duress call,” saying: “I felt my life was in danger.”

By admitting that he regretted what he had done is clear evidence that he knew all along that what he had done was legally wrong and that being as it is; it destroyed his claim of diminished capacity to form a criminal act.

The judge sentenced the stepmother to three years imprisonment less time already served.

Alas, I couldn’t find anything about the sentence given to the boy’s father. I have to presume that his sentence would result in many years in prison. 

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