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

The Trail Smoke Eaters fell 6-1 to the Penticton Vees on Sunday, their third loss to the perennial BCHL powerhouse six games into the 20-game season. Photo: Stephen Piccolo
Penticton Vees dominant in win over Trail Smoke Eaters

Trail Smoke Eaters enjoy two day break until their fourth meeting with Penticton Vees on Wednesday

This painting is a piece from Young Visions 2021, opening April 22 at the Kootenay Gallery. Photo: S. Painter
Showcase of artwork by Kootenay Columbia students opens April 22

Young Visions 2021 runs April 22 to May 29 in the Kootenay Gallery of Art, Castlegar

Selkirk College has received provincial funding to assist students. File photo
Selkirk College receives funding to assist students

Provincial funding is available to West Kootenay students

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)
Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Most Read