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Witnesses testify in Van Voorthuizen sexual assualt trial

Posted on September 18, 2013 by Taber Times

A former southern Alberta man was sexually molested by his older  

brothers, not the man accused of the assaults, a lawyer suggested  

Tuesday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.

Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady made the accusations while cross-

examining a 21-year-old witness, who testified he was molested when he  

was a young boy by former Taber resident Jorden Van Voorthuizen.

“Not possible,” the witness simply responded to the suggestion he was  

assaulted by his brothers and not the accused.

Van Voorthuizen is charged with two counts of sexual assault against  

the two men between 1995 and 2001. One of the men testified Monday the  

accused molested him numerous times over nearly four years, under  

circumstances that closely mirrored those of the second complainant  

who testified Tuesday and described similar assaults against him as a  

young boy.

Both men, now living in Ontario and who can’t be identified under a  

publication ban, finally reported the assaults years later because  

they feared Van Voorthuizen would molest other children.

Tuesday’s witness told court he was too young to know better when he  

and the accused would touch each other and engage in other sexual  

activities. But as he got older he began to realize something was wrong.

“I’m here today because I feel I was sexually molested as a child by  

Jorden Van Voorthuizen,” he said.

At times the witness appeared to be on the verge of crying, then at  

one point during cross-examination, he broke down, sobbing loudly and  

prompting the judge to order a short break in the jury trial. He  

avoided looking in the direction of Van Voorthuizen who sat calmly  

just metres away in the prisoners’ dock.

The man admitted he used drugs growing up, and still smoked pot to  

help him sleep and keep “weird” dreams away. But he denied accusations  

by defence that there is something wrong with him.

“I’m trying to live life to the fullest,” he said. “There’s nothing  

wrong with me. Something wrong has been done to me.”

The girlfriend of the other complainant testified Tuesday, as well,  

and said that when they lived together in Toronto they talked a little  

about the assaults, but avoided specific details.

“It caused him a lot of difficulty to discuss,” she testified.

A Taber police constable also testified and said he was assigned the  

case in September 2010 but didn’t make any attempts to contact the  

accused for a year. He pointed out Van Voorthuizen was in Greece at  

the time, but was eventually extradited.

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