A 97-year-old North Thompson woman took the witness stand in a Kamloops courtroom on Wednesday, describing a “disgusting” incident last year in which an acquaintance is accused of violently groping her.
Brian Byung Koo Lee is standing trial in Kamloops provincial court on one count of sexual assault. The incident is alleged to have happened in August 2016.
The complainant, whose identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban, told court she met Lee a few days before the alleged incident took place.
“There was this couple that were new in town and we thought they should be made to feel comfortable, so we invited them over for supper,” she said, noting Lee showed up for the meal with his wife. “There were two or three of our friends who came also.”
The complainant lives in Barriere with her son and his wife and child. A few days after the dinner, the woman said, she answered her door to find Lee standing outside. She said she welcomed him into her home, assuming he was there to talk to her son about a vehicle that needed repair work.
Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo then asked the complainant to tell Kamloops provincial court Judge Chris Cleaveley what happened next.
“It’s shameful, sir,” she said to the judge, before describing how she was fondled on various parts of her body and how she was forced to touch the accused.
“At this point, I said to him, ‘You know my son is downstairs and he could be coming up any moment. Obviously, it didn’t bother him too much.”
The complainant also said Lee aggressively kissed her.
“This whole situation was disgusting,” she said. “I didn’t quite know what to do. I sort of froze. I was afraid that my son would have come up and there would have been terrible trouble.”
Court heard the complainant didn’t tell anyone about the incident until the next day, eventually confiding in her daughter-in-law after she returned home from a trip to Ontario.
Court also heard the complainant, a mother of seven, suffered bruising to her breasts and redness around her mouth as a result of the incident.
Defence lawyer Matt Ford said the complainant had actually had a conversation with Lee about how she missed living on her own.
“I’m suggesting to you that you were asking for assistance,” Ford said.
“Good heavens,” the complainant replied.
“Assistance for what? Where the deuce he got that from I don’t know — certainly not from me.”
“I’m going to suggest to you that you had this conversation and then, shortly after that, he left your residence,” Ford said.
“I wish he had,” the complainant replied. “This whole situation is revolting.”
Throughout her testimony, the complainant was supported in court by about eight relatives.
A family member also helped the elderly woman to and from the witness box.
The trial is expected to conclude on Friday.