Justice

Port Coquitlam-jailed truck driver to be extradited to the U.S. for alleged sexual assault

A former truck driver in custody at a Port Coquitlam jail has been committed to extradition to the United States to face prosecution in the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old in Minnesota.

The incident is said to have occurred June 19, 2000, in the town of Fairmont, Minn., when Narinder Singh Bains, now 64-years-old, is alleged to have met the teenage girl inside a McDonald’s where she had come to meet a friend. 

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While standing in line, a man who identified himself as “Paul Bains” offered to buy the girl something to eat before taking her back to the cab of his semi-trailer truck, according to her testimony. Inside, the man is said to have showed the teenager a pornographic movie, “which made her uncomfortable.” 

The teenage girl wanted to leave but the man began to kiss and sexually touch her above and below her clothing, according to court documents.   

“While he was touching her, the Victim told BAINS to stop and that she wanted to leave, but BAINS held her by her waist and would not let her go,” noted the Record of the Case for Prosecution, which was presented by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the United States of America. 

The girl testified to authorities that she was only allowed to leave the truck when she gave the man her phone number. 

Port Coquitlam-jailed truck driver to be extradited to the U.S. for alleged sexual assault
North Fraser Pretrial Centre, Port Coquitlam. Mr. Bains was committed to the facility awaiting extradition to the U.S. – Screenshot/Google Maps

In the ruling — which was handed down Sept. 23 but was released Saturday — the extradition judge described the process to extradite someone as a “modest screening device” based on the premise that a trial will take place later. The test whether to extradite relies on whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial should the alleged crimes have occurred in Canada. It does not rule on whether a person is guilty.

In his defence, Bains argued that the evidence did not specify whether the now 36-year-old woman’s narrative of the events would be based on testimony given to police 20 years ago or based on her current memory.

But the judge wrote that Bains presented no evidence that showed the woman’s testimony was “manifestly unreliable or defective” and that enough “evidence exists upon which a reasonable jury, properly instructed, could return a verdict of guilty.”

Bains was committed into custody at North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam the day of the ruling. It’s now up to the Minster of Justice whether to surrender Bains to the United States and, failing appeal, that could happen as early as the last week of October.