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BTO co-founder found not guilty of sex assault

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Tim Bachman, co-founder of BTO, was found not guilty of sex charges involving a minor.

ERIC DREGER / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Tim Bachman, co-founder of BTO, was found not guilty of sex charges involving a minor.

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. -- Tim Bachman, who co-founded the iconic Winnipeg rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, was found not guilty Wednesday of sex charges brought by a woman who was a foster child in his home.

A British Columbia judge concluded the testimony of Stacy Bohun, now 24, was unreliable because of inconsistencies in her statements over the years.

"I did not find Ms. Bohun was a deliberately dishonest witness," the judge said in B.C. Supreme Court.

Bohun testified when she was between 11 and 14, she was living in Bachman's home and was in a "sick relationship" with him that involved groping and fondling, but never intercourse. She said Wednesday she was disappointed with the verdict.

Bohun's name was originally banned from publication, but the judge granted her request to lift the ban.

Bachman was accused of sexual assault, sexual touching and sexual interference of a person under 14.

Justice Neill Brown noted the Crown's evidence fell short of what was needed to convict.

The court was told Bohun first disclosed to a therapist that she'd been touched sexually by Bachman. The court also heard Bachman visited the therapist and said: "I touched her but I didn't have sex with her."

The counsellor testified at the trial that Bachman was in tears when he said it, but the judge noted the counsellor didn't ask Bachman what he meant by touching.

Brown also noted Bohun had given four different dates for the worst incident of sexual touching, although he acknowledged Bohun had been a meth addict in her teens, leaving her with a "terrible memory" for dates.

Despite the acquittal, Bohun said outside court she's glad she came forward publicly and hoped it would help other victims. "I did the right thing here. It's been a long 12 years and I think I'm going to close the book."

She said she now plans to focus on her new life as a mother. Bohun took her infant to court to hear the verdict.

"I would love for all the children who were victims of sexual abuse to feel comfortable speaking about it. I want to let people know it's OK to talk about it."

Court heard Bohun had a troubled childhood. In August 1989, when she was only a year old, her three-year-old sister, Casey Bohun, vanished without a trace from the family home in Delta, B.C. Her mother, Barbara Bohun, took her own life in 2001 while Stacy was in foster care at the Bachman home.

Bohun testified she was put in foster care because she started "acting out" and her mother felt unable to cope.

She told the court Bachman would grope her breasts and caress her buttocks and vaginal area.

She ended their four-year sexual relationship in 2004 when she was 14 and ran away, she testified.

She blamed herself for allowing it to happen and she started taking drugs to help kill the memories, she said.

Bohun went to police in 2009 and Bachman was charged in 2010.

Under cross-examination by Jack Harris, Bachman's lawyer, Bohun admitted drug use affected her memory.

The lawyer pointed out that when Bohun testified at Bachman's preliminary hearing, she said she had "flashbacks" of what happened with Bachman.

The defence lawyer suggested she may have imagined or visualized a sexual relationship with Bachman, which she now believes are real memories.

Bachman, 59, has been a Fraser Valley real estate agent for years.

BTO released its first album in May 1973. The band's second album, Bachman-Turner Overdrive II, released in 1973, became a huge hit in the U.S. and Canada, with hit singles Let it Ride and Takin' Care of Business. In 1974, Tim Bachman left BTO. He has rejoined BTO for tours.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 A11

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