Canadian Sikh priest fined $415,000 for sexually abusing niece

June 27th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, June 27 (IANS) A court here has ordered a Sikh priest and his wife to pay $415,000 in damages to their niece for sexually abusing her for over a decade. Karamjeet Kaur, who is 50 now and known as Vicky Waters after her marriage to a white man, was sexually abused by the ‘granthi’ who along with his wife adopted her following her mother’s death in an accident.

In its judgment Thursday, the provincial British Columbia Supreme Court said Joginder Singh Bains, now 77, began sexually abusing Kaur when she was just eight on their farm at Fraser Valley near Vancouver.

Judge Nancy Morrison said the adopted girl was subjected to oral and anal sex, apart from beatings. To prevent pregnancy when she reached puberty, the couple had an IUD inserted in Kaur.

The judge said her aunt, Darshan Kaur Bains, was guilty of not reporting the abuse despite being told twice by the young girl. She was also found complicit in the crime, as well as collaborating in insertion of IUD in her young niece.

“Both defendants played a significant part in her losses. The young plaintiff was present in their home, slept in their bedroom and at times, in their bed with them, when sexual assaults took place,” Judge Morrison said.

The years of abuse have left Karamjeet with low self-esteem, depression and nightmares, the judge said.

Morrison added: “The plaintiff’s problems are many. First and foremost, she has suffered a loss of innocence and the loss of a normal childhood. The insertion of the IUD into an unknowing 12 or 13 year old is appalling.”

The judge rejected the Sikh couple’s argument for waiving the compensation amount because of their “modest means”.

Now a mother of two, Karamjeet left the Bains’ dairy farm after finishing her high school.

The disgraced couple are bound to face the wrath of the Indo-Canadian community and become the theme of radio and TV talk shows in the coming days.

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