And the strange and seemingly neverending underage sex trial of Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth wannabe takes another twist.
The unusual case of David Kuntz-Angel has been winding itself through B.C. Supreme Court for years, from a period of time on the lam, to an in-custody beating, to a fragile main witness, to a declaration of a mistrial, to Charter applications and now, an abscondment.
All that doesn’t even include the homicide love triangle in the 1980s or his bizarre history of pretending he is David Lee Roth from Chilliwack to Brantford, Ontario.
All that is to say that Kuntz-Angel’s case was scheduled to finally continue in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster Monday morning. One of the collateral benefits of the pandemic that has continued is that accredited journalists can dial in to courtrooms, something I did Monday morning at 10 a.m.
I was left on hold until 11:30 a.m. and eventually I was told they couldn’t find the accused, so they resumed again at 2 p.m. That’s when Crown counsel Wendy Dawson told Justice Terence Schultes that, well, he didn’t show up.
“It looks to the Crown that he may have absconded,” Dawson said.
She said she asked an officer involved in the case to look for Kuntz-Angel at all the locations where he might be. She also asked the officer to check with hospitals to see if he was in a medical emergency, but also to check out music store Long & McQuade.
Why? Because while he was on the lam for several months in 2017, his obsession with David Lee Roth led to his arrest, as he went into the Long & McQuade store in both Chilliwack and Abbotsford and told staff he was the American rock singer.
It’s been close to four years since Kuntz-Angel was first charged with grooming and having sex with the complainant for more than 10 years. She cannot be named due to a publication ban.
The case dates back to 2006 when the alleged grooming began and continued until 2016. Witnesses on the stand reported seeing Kuntz-Angel with the young girl as far back as 2007 and as recently as 2016.
Kuntz-Angel originally faced 12 charges. Justice Neill Brown acquitted him in 2019 of sexual exploitation, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, and one count of procuring. But he convicted Kuntz-Angel of the most serious charges, including sexual interference.
Prior to sentencing, however, the case was reassigned to a different judge, and Kuntz-Angel’s lawyer Chantal Paquette applied for a mistrial questioning the mental faculties of Justice Brown.
That mistrial was declared, and the entire proceedings began again in 2020. Personal health details were never released, but the B.C. Supreme Court announced the retirement of Justice Brown on May 27, 2020.
The new trial was ordered, but on July 21, 2021, Justice Schultes ruled that the victim was unable to continue with further cross-examination.
Defence then filed an application to have the victim’s testimony excluded from the trial due to a lack of complete cross-examination. On Nov. 1, 2021, Justice Schultes dismissed that application allowing transcripts of her prior testimony from the first trial to be used.
Kuntz-Angel then asked to have the charges dropped due to delay, a so-called Jordan application under section 11(b) of the Charter. On April 22, 2022, Justice Schultes dismissed the Jordan application, meaning the retrial can now go ahead.
In issuing the warrant for his arrest, Schultes was deferential to Kuntz-Angel, asking his lawyer if she thought the application for a warrant should be adjourned until Tuesday in case he could be found and in case “something excusable” happened.
“It has been a long torturous set of appearances and I would say, given the framework of his capacities, he’s been pretty good about attending,” Schultes said.
That may be so but, still, it would appear that while Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth impersonator was out on bail, he did indeed jump.
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