The twist and turns seem neverending for those involved in the criminal trial of Chilliwack’s notorious David Lee Roth impersonator charged with grooming and having sex with a young girl for over a decade.
Two-and-a-half years after David Kuntz-Angel was convicted of sexual interference, two counts of invitation to sexual touching, one count each of assault and uttering threats – and a year-and-a-half after a retrial was ordered – the alleged victim in the case can no longer continue.
Her name protected by a publication ban, the complainant did take the witness stand in the judge-alone retrial that started on Nov. 18, 2020. She attended court and testified intermittently over the course of several days from Jan. 12, 2021 up to July 20, according to Crown counsel Wendy Dawson.
On July 21 in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster, however, Justice Terence Schultes concluded the complainant was too ill to continue with cross-examination.
This does not necessarily end the case as Dawson will be applying to have the transcript of the complainant’s testimony from the 2019 trial included as evidence since the young woman is no longer able to continue. Defence will seek to exclude her evidence at the trial due to an incomplete cross-examination.
The application is scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8.
The case dates back to 2006 when the alleged grooming began and continued until 2016. Witnesses on the stand reported seeing Kuntz-Angel in sexual situations with the young girl as far back as 2007 and as recently as 2016.
The case has been unusual for a number of reasons, not least of which is because Kuntz-Angel is known from B.C. to Ontario for pretending to be American rock star David Lee Roth. There were news reports from Brantford, Ont., over a decade ago that described how he pretended to be the former Van Halen lead singer while partying in hospital scrubs at a bar.
It was while on the lam in B.C. in 2017 that his obsession with David Lee Roth led to his arrest. Witnesses said he went into the Long & McQuade music store in both Chilliwack and Abbotsford and told staff he was the American rock singer.
After Kuntz-Angel was convicted of the sex crimes, and when it came to sentencing, his lawyer Chantal Paquette applied for a mistrial, citing questions over the mental faculties of Justice Neill Brown who presided over the trial. The case was then moved to another BC Supreme Court Justice, and while Brown’s status was never explained, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court said the case was reassigned pursuant to a section of the criminal code that states this can happen if a judge “dies or is for any reason unable to continue.”
Kuntz-Angel was granted bail and a new trial began last June. He applied to have the charges dropped due to unreasonable delay under section 11(b) of the Charter, but that application was denied.
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