There was a trial, then the declaration of a mistrial, then the start of a retrial, then an application to drop the charges, and now the retrial is back on again.
The seemingly neverending case of Chilliwck’s David Kuntz-Angel is back in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster this week for his retrial on sexual exploitation and sexual assault charges for allegedly grooming and having sex with a young girl for over a decade.
Kuntz-Angel faced a dozen charges in total and went through a 20-day trial starting in March 2019 after which Justice Neill Brown acquitted Kuntz-Angel of four charges, but convicted him of sexual interference, two counts of invitation to sexual touching, one count each of assault and uttering threats.
In an unusual circumstance in November 2019, when it came to sentencing, his lawyer Chantal Paquette applied for a mistrial, citing questions over the mental faculties of Justice Brown.
The case was then moved to another judge, Justice Dev Dley out of Kamloops. Brown’s status was never explained, but a spokesperson for the Supreme Court told The Chilliwack Progress that 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.”
In January, Justice Dley ordered the mistrial. Kuntz-Angel was granted bail and a new trial was scheduled to begin in May, was delayed, but eventually began on June 8 in New Westminster.
Kuntz-Angel then applied to have the charges dropped under section 11(b) of the Charter, which demands trials be conducted in a reasonable time. The so-called Jordan decision clarified the 11(b) parameters, stating provincial matters should be dealt with in 18 months from charge to conclusion, and Supreme Court matters, 30 months.
Kuntz-Angel has faced the charges for more than 40 months now, but Jordan only applies to unreasonable delays and/or delays that cannot be attributed to the Crown. His Jordan application was denied, and the trial was set to start this week, with continuation scheduled for Nov. 16.
Kuntz-Angel, who is known from B.C. to Ontario for pretending to be American rock star David Lee Roth, has been out of custody since he was granted bail on Jan. 31, 2020.
The long and bizarre 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.
He was arrested in late 2017 after being wanted by police. He has spent so much time at Surrey Pretrial that he will likely be given credit for more than three years if he is ever convicted and sentenced.
Kuntz-Angel has a colourful history going back many years to Brantford, Ontario, where he often pretended to be the former Van Halen lead singer, leading to news reports in that province. Indeed it was while on the lam for several months in B.C. in 2017, that 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.
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