A Supreme Court judge has convicted Darrin Philip Rouse of one of four sex-related charges he was facing.
Justice Mona Lynch found Rouse, 51, guilty of sexual touching, but not guilty of invitation to sexual touching, invitation to sexual touching while in a position of trust, and sexual touching while in a position of trust.
Lynch said in her decision Wednesday afternoon in Kentville that there was no evidence Rouse was in a position of authority over a girl he had sex with when she was 13, more than a decade ago.
She also said there was was no evidence presented at trial as to the dates for the invitation to sexual touching charge.
The victim, who is now in her 20s, said at trial this week that she met Rouse through her mother, who had met him at a bar. She testified that Rouse one day told her he had feelings for her and knew she had feelings for him, and they had sex in his vehicle.
She said she thought at the time that she loved him, and they had sex several times until the relationship ended when she was 15.
Rouse had denied the allegations. He said he knew the girl but they were never alone because his parole conditions on a sexual assault conviction didn’t allow it. He said they had no sexual relationship.
But Lynch said she didn’t find that Rouse’s testimony under direct and cross-examination was credible.
“I agree he was all over the map,” she said. “There were many inconsistencies. He was evasive, he was argumentative.”
She also said she rejected the evidence of Rouse’s surety, who she said was “tailoring her evidence to assist Mr. Rouse.”
The judge said that the victim gave her evidence “in a straightforward manner. She was very clear about details of the event.”
After the judge gave the guilty verdict on the fourth count, the victim wiped tears from her eyes with a tissue while sitting next to supporters and a worker from the Justice Department’s victim services program.
Lawyers had made their closing arguments in the case Wednesday morning.
Rouse will be sentenced May 11.
Defence lawyer Bob Stewart declined comment after court.
Crown attorney Mike MacKenzie said he was pleased with the verdict and accepted the judge's decision on the other counts.
He said he would likely be seeking a sentence beyond the minimum because of Rouse's record.
A couple of hours later, Rouse was in Kentville provincial court, in the same building, for a bail hearing on charges resulting from an incident during a break in the trial Tuesday.
He was arrested by sheriffs after a scuffle that followed him allegedly making a threat in the lobby of the courthouse.
His application for bail on those charges got underway Wednesday evening and was to resume Thursday morning. The Crown has opposed his release.