CONTENT WARNING: This story contains disturbing and graphic content.
A decision date has been set in the trial that surrounds an alleged child abduction and sexual assault in northeast London, Ont., three years ago.
According to police reports at the time, it was on May 13, 2018 when a four-year-old girl playing outside was picked up by a man driving by. Witnesses reported to investigators that they observed the man allegedly inappropriately touching the young girl, according to police.
Police said the car stopped in the same area the girl was picked up, allowing her to get out and run home.
Lawrence Allen Thompson was arrested the following day. The 68-year-old, who was 65 at the time of the alleged incident, stands accused of four charges including kidnapping, child abduction, sexual assault and sexual interference.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
On Friday, the Superior Court of Justice heard closing arguments from the Crown and the defence.
Assistant Crown attorney Kristina Mildred asked Justice Alissa Mitchell to find Thompson guilty on all four charges he stands accused of.
Mildred argued that the totality of the evidence she presented, which included five civilian witnesses, three police witnesses and a number of photographs and videos, should be accepted.
According to testimony from Sgt. Eric Potasse and retired Det. Const. Lori-Ann Kirk, Thompson was arrested immediately after officers had concluded that a Chevrolet Impala parked in his backyard was the same vehicle being sought by police in the initial investigation.
Both officers had also testified that the Impala was found propped up with its two front tires removed. During his arrest, Kirk said Thompson had suggested to his wife that he had been working on the vehicle for some time.
Given that police had issued an appeal to the public in search of a suspect vehicle tied to the alleged abduction the day prior, Mildred argued in court that this could infer Thompson tampered with the Impala.
“There was an intention to deflect suspicion because of the accused’s consciousness of guilt,” Mildred said.
Mildred also argued that insight into Thompson’s motive can be gathered by his alleged actions on May 13, 2018.
The defence argued earlier in the trial that Thompson’s intent in picking up the four-year-old girl may have been altruistic in nature, with the man wanting to return the girl to her home. Mildred argued Thompson’s actions indicate otherwise.