A further four weeks has been set aside next year to continue a trial for a Prince George man accused of sexually abusing two of his stepdaughters, starting when they were as young as 10 years old.
The trial, which has already taken up three weeks, was put over on Friday to May 13, 2013, when the start of a further 20 days of court time has been booked.
Crown counsel Cassandra Malfair said Monday that was the only block of time available to both the prosecution and defence counsels to present the rest of the testimony to B.C. Supreme Court Justice Selwyn Romilly.
"The problem is, especially for big long trials like that, our calendars are booked quite far in advance," Malfair said. "It's one thing if you're looking at two days, three days but if you're trying to book four weeks of continuous time that's usually got to be six months ahead because most people's trial calendars are full by then."
It had been hoped testimony would have been wrapped up by Friday, but the proceedings have been complicated by an abundance of technical evidence and the question of whether the accused man's Charter rights have been violated.
Worried the accused would use remote access to erase graphic images from his hard drives, police went into his apartment to unhook his computers without a search warrant. The computers were later seized once the warrant was obtained.
And while the mother and the two daughters have testified ,more family members and friends are scheduled to take the stand, the continuity of the exhibits must still be proved, and the officer responsible for finding the contents on the computers must still be cross examined, Malfair said.
"And then, of course, there is the defence case," Malfair said. "They might call evidence, they might call their own witnesses."
Closing submissions could also take a couple days, she added.
"We might not take it all, [the four weeks] but we've booked it just to make sure it doesn't continue any further," Malfair said.
The accused, who cannot be named under a court-ordered publication ban against information identifying the alleged victims, faces 14 sex-related charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference of a person under 14 years old, publishing child pornography and bestiality.
During the trial so far, the court heard that the man would invoke religious scripture to justify his actions. Defence counsel is arguing none of the activity alleged occurred before the two, now 20 and 23 years old, had turned 18.