Shin Wook Lim, 45, is shown in this undated police handout photo. A former Taekwondo Canada coach has been found guilty of sexual assault and other sex-related offences involving a teenage student. Shin Wook Lim pleaded not guilty to 15 charges involving two female students, including sexual assault and sexual interference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Toronto Police Services

Shin Wook Lim, 45, is shown in this undated police handout photo. A former Taekwondo Canada coach has been found guilty of sexual assault and other sex-related offences involving a teenage student. Shin Wook Lim pleaded not guilty to 15 charges involving two female students, including sexual assault and sexual interference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Toronto Police Services

Former Taekwondo Canada coach found guilty of sex-related offences involving student

Shin Wook Lim was found guilty of 10 charges, including sexual assault and sexual interference

A high-level taekwondo coach gradually took control of a teenage student’s life, abusing his position of trust as he began a years-long stretch of escalating sexual assaults that culminated in rape, a Toronto judge ruled Thursday.

Shin Wook Lim was found guilty of 10 charges, including sexual assault and sexual interference, in connection with a series of incidents involving an elite athlete who trained with him at the Black Belt World martial arts studio in Toronto.

The incidents took place in a number of locations, including training camps in South Korea, between 2015 and 2017, Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy said in her ruling.

But she noted Lim, also a former Taekwondo Canada coach, began behaving inappropriately towards the girl before then: sending “suggestive” text messages and instructing her to delete them, commenting on how beautiful she was, and hugging her in his office.

“Bit by bit, Mr. Lim took control over all aspects of her life, deliberately excluding her mother, and directing (the teen) to keep information away from her. He built a culture of secrecy, not just one of trust. Then he began the precursors to sexual assault,” Molloy wrote.

“When the sexual assaults started to happen, they came in small increments, progressing from long hugs to kissing, and then to touching above the clothes, and then under the clothes, then penetration, and finally rape,” she said.

With each escalation, the girl, now 21, “accepted this small change as her ‘new normal,’” the judge said.

Lim, who is in his 40s, did not testify at his trial, but court heard from another witness that he proclaimed his innocence and dismissed the allegations as lies when speaking to a group of friends.

Molloy addressed this in her ruling, saying Lim’s “bald denial to friends in a social setting” did not cause her to have a reasonable doubt as to his guilt.

Defence lawyers had also questioned the complainant’s credibility and reliability, flagging more than a dozen inconsistencies in her account of the incidents and suggesting her memory may have been tainted by a paper she wrote for a university criminology course after leaving the sport.

In that paper, the complainant analyzed the case of a Winnipeg taekwondo coach convicted of sexually assaulting a number of his students, court heard.

During her testimony, the complainant said she had “never really processed” what happened to her and neither researching nor writing the paper stirred up any new insights into her experiences. Instead, the epiphany that she had been sexually assaulted came later, when she was listening to a lecture in that same course, she told the court.

While it “may seem odd” that the complainant didn’t make that connection earlier, particularly when writing the paper, that does not make her account untrue, nor does it render her memories unreliable, the judge wrote.

It does not appear that the incidents reported by the complainant resemble the details of what happened in the other case, “except in superficial ways common to most victims of assault at the hands of an authority figure,” Molloy said.

Furthermore, the inconsistencies highlighted by the defence do not undermine her credibility or reliability as to the core of the charges, she said.

The court is set to hear submissions next week on whether some of the charges Lim was convicted on Thursday should be stayed because they overlap with each other.

He also faces another five charges related to sex offences against another teen student, which are set to be tried separately later this year.

Neither complainant can be identified due to a publication ban.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

sexual abuse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

Every red dot on the map indicates a location the Coles have travelled. Also shown are some of the items they’ve collected over the years. photo submitted
Local couple shows off clothing collection after decades worth of travel

Paintearth Lodge resident Myrtle Cole displayed her collection of dresses accrued from her many adventures abroad

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Most Read