SASKATOON – Richard Klassen testified Wednesday that he initially believed the allegations that his father gave money to a small girl in exchange for sexual behaviour.
Klassen told the court what went through his mind when the allegations were first made, saying he took the the charges against his father very seriously because Peter Klassen had been accused of abuses in the past.
Richard Klassen is the only person among the 12 plaintiffs who has chosen to defend himself. Initially 13 people in his extended family were accused of abusing foster children. Those allegations were later recanted by the victims.
Klassen told the courtroom that when he viewed a police interview tape of one child’s complaint and the claim was made that Peter Klassen had offered her money to show him her private parts, it wasn’t the first time that kind of accusation was made against his father.
Peter Klassen was convicted on that charge once before and that’s why he and the other family members wanted a separate trial. It took a year before charges against the remaining 12 were stayed and that only happened after Peter Klassen pleaded guilty.
Sep. 25, 2003