A Winnipeg man has denied sexually abusing and secretly videotaping his teenaged stepdaughter while attempting to bribe her into staying silent.
The 50-year-old accused — who can’t be named to protect the identity of the now 17-year-old girl — began his trial Tuesday by pleading not guilty to several charges including sexual assault, voyeurism and making child pornography.
Police began investigating in early 2010 after the teen told her mother what happened inside their West End home one night.
"I woke up and he was in my room, touching me," the girl told court on Tuesday. He said her stepfather repeatedly told her to calm down, then became remorseful.
"He saw my reaction and said he was sorry," she testified. It was around that time the girl’s mother allegedly discovered numerous email messages her husband of five years had been sending to her daughter. She went to court and obtained a restraining order against the man, filing copies of the emails with the courts. She also filed for divorce.
In the emails, the man is accused of offering his stepdaughter cash, electronics and even allowing her to skip school and keep it a secret. But he indicates there will be a price.
"You know that your mom will be mad at you skipping school and you keep asking me to do things for you, I don’t ask anything in return but this time I think that you owe me for doing this for you! If you agree to my terms I will continue to keep your secrets. My term is this you will agree to do what I ask of you with no questions," he allegedly wrote in an April 2009 email.
In May 2009, the girl received an email stating: "I want that we can spend some quality time together and I would like to see you the way your mom does."
Further emails included invitations for the girl to spend time with him in exchange for money, an iPod and a cellular phone.
"Would you like me to give you $300 tomorrow? All you have to do is one simple thing and I will give you the money in cash. All you have to do is come into the room. Let me know you got this email and say yes," reads an August 2009 email.
Police arrested the man in March 2010 and initially charged him with sexual assault and sexual interference. The investigation remained open and took another turn when police discovered a series of videotapes which contain nude images of the girl. She apparently had no idea they had been taken. Police say the recordings were made between September 2007 and December 2009, beginning when the girl was just 13. There are no allegations they had been sold or distributed.