Accused exploited power over troubled teen for sex, court told

Dean Barker had authority and power over a teenage victim and exploited that for sex, a Winnipeg courtroom heard on Thursday.

Dean Barker charged with multiple sexual assault, exploitation charges

Dean Wallace Barker is on trial for multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual exploitation. (RCMP)

Dean Barker had authority and power over a teenage victim and exploited that for sex, a Winnipeg courtroom heard on Thursday. 

During the closing arguments of the four-day judge-only trial at Court of Queen's Bench, Crown attorney Mark Kantor said Barker knew the teenager was troubled and the accused took advantage of that, starting when the girl was 14 years old. 

The alleged victim, now 26, cannot be named because of a publication ban.

Barker, 50, was charged with multiple offences, including sexual assault and sexual exploitation. The Crown dropped charges of exploitation of a minor, because the alleged offences occurred when the legal age of consent in Canada was 14. It has since been raised to 16.

Earlier in the trial, the alleged victim testified that Barker started sexually touching her when she was 14 and that continued — escalating to sex and the making of videos and photos — until she was 17.

She said she had moved between foster families and also suffered from addiction. She moved into Barker's house for a time, where he would come into her room at night for sex, she alleged.

The alleged offences happened from 2005 to 2013, when neither Barker nor the victim were living in Winnipeg. 

After turning 18, the victim said she would trade sex with Barker for drugs, or to have money taken off of her drug debt, which fuelled her addictions. 

Kantor said the victim's testimony was "very credible" and was corroborated by the photos and videos. 

In his closing statements before Justice David Kroft, defence lawyer Jeremy Kostiuk argued that the victim's testimony was "cagey" and the dates surrounding the allegations didn't line up.

He added that Barker didn't have an authoritative personality and there was no sign he controlled the victim.

"You didn't hear evidence that this was unwanted and this was resisted," Kostiuk said. 

The judge reserved his decision for a later date.

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