Sunday, June 17, 2007

Visually impaired student raped by her mother's common-law husband

A trial began Monday for a man accused of twice sexually assaulting his common-law wife's blind 17-year-old daughter.

Edward James Mears is charged with sexual assault against a child by a person of trust.
The incident allegedly occurred on October 17, 2004, during the night while the victim was in Ottawa visiting her mother for the weekend.

The victim, whose identity cannot be published because of a media ban, was a student and lived at the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Visually Impaired in Brantford, Ont. at the time.

Monday, the Court heard from two witnesses: Cathy Canton, the victim's guidance counselor at the time at W. Ross Macdonald, and Elizabeth Dunton, then vice-principal at the school. Both women told Justice Gerald Morin how the victim approached them on Oct. 18 to tell them about the alleged assault.

"She was terrified," Ms. Dunton testified. "Shortness of breath, wringing her hands, shaking. She was really upset."

Ms. Dunton testified she then contacted the Ottawa police, who co-ordinated with the Brantford police in the investigation.

Both women also testified that the victim, who was a new student at the school in 2004, had many "issues" and was unhappy when she visited her mother in Ottawa every weekend.
The victim is expected to testify Tuesday.


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