Former Duncan man found guilty of sexual assault of 14-year-old

Corey Joseph Scribner was found guilty in a Duncan courthouse on Nov. 5

A former Duncan man was found guilty last month of three charges relating to a sexual relationship he had with a then-14-year-old-girl in 2015 and 2016.

Corey Joseph Scribner was found guilty in a Duncan courthouse on Nov. 5 of sexually touching a person under 16, sexual assault, and communication to facilitate the commission of sexual offences.

Scribner denied that he was involved, and said he had never met or had contact with the complainant, saying it was a case of mistaken identity, but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robin Baird concluded that Scribner was, in fact, the perpetrator.

“I dismiss the accused’s evidence in its entirety as an obvious and brazen fabrication clumsily manufactured to save his own skin,” Baird said in his judgment. “I find that he was most certainly the person who communicated with [the complainant] for sexual purposes and who twice had sexual intercourse with her. [The complainant]’s evidence that she notified the accused about her tender age was nowhere contradicted in evidence. I find beyond a reasonable doubt that this accused was fully aware that he was sexually abusing a child.”

In November 2015, the complainant, identified in court as “D.A.” to protect her identity, sent out messages on social media apps Whisper and Snapchat, which led to near-daily communication with a particular respondent, who identified himself as a 28-year-old volunteer firefighter named “Marcus.” He initiated “sexting,” and when she told him she was only 14 years old, he replied, “A girl is a girl.”

Later that month, D.A. invited “Marcus” to her home while her mother was at work, and the two had intercourse. Their correspondence continued through December, and they exchanged photographs, including a selfie of the accused. On Jan. 1, 2016, “Marcus” arranged to meet her again. He picked her up and they drove to a parking lot at Vancouver Island University, where they had intercourse again.

After the second encounter, D.A. blocked the accused on social media. A few weeks later, she saw him in his place of work and learned from another employee that his name was Corey Scribner and that he was a volunteer firefighter. She didn’t tell anyone about it at the time, but told her parents about the encounters in July 2016, and made a statement to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, identifying Scribner as the suspect.

During his arrest on July 20, 2016, police seized two mobile phones from his truck, one of which included Whisper messages from June and July 2016 sent under the alias “skippitydoo,” in which the sender identified himself as a firefighter or first responder.

After his initial arrest, Scribner missed a date for a preliminary inquiry in March 2017 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. In the meantime, he moved to Surrey, and was located and contacted by Surrey RCMP in January 2018. He initially fled from B.C. to avoid arrest, but was apprehended at his home in Surrey on Feb. 22, 2018.

Scribner was living with a common-law partner at the time, who was pregnant, and her testimony in the trial corroborated D.A.’s timelines. When he moved to Surrey, he was awaiting the arrival of a new baby with a different partner.

Much of Scribner’s defence hinged on the fact that D.A. wears glasses, but admitted she was not wearing them at the time of either encounter, and that both encounters took place at night, which made it difficult to identify who “Marcus” actually was. Justice Baird discounted that likelihood.

“There was no mistake or doubt in her mind about who he was,” he said.

Scribner’s sentencing is scheduled for April 9, 2020 in Duncan court.

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