Sex abuser who once lived in Dartmouth facing new charges in Ontario

Sex abuser who once lived in Dartmouth facing new charges in Ontario

Former Dartmouth, N.S., resident Edwin Gerard Achorn is facing new child sex charges in Ontario.

In 2013, Achorn pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting two young girls in Dartmouth from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. He was sentenced to two-and-half years in prison.

Now the 74-year-old is accused of having intercourse with a female child in Ottawa between 1974 and 1979. The name of the alleged victim is subject to a publication ban.

Achorn is facing five charges in Ottawa, including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency.

'Stayed silent for so long'

Karyn Tannahill-Blackburn lived on the same street as Achorn while growing up and was one of the two young girls he assaulted in Dartmouth.

At her request, the court lifted the publication ban on her name.   

"I stayed silent for so long because of the horrible impact he's had," she said. "I'm not a victim, I'm a survivor. And survivors speak."

Tannahill-Blackburn said seeing Achorn convicted and sent to prison in 2013 was an important moment.

"Just total euphoria. So that was fantastic," she said.

She said her chronic nightmares stopped after Achorn's conviction and she has been able to forgive her abuser.

"I don't harbour any anger. I get upset, weepy and teary, but I don't have any anger," she said. "My family benefits from that. And I benefit from that."

But Tannahill-Blackburn said the new charges mean she will be facing difficult memories once again.

"Yes there's sleepless nights," she said. "It's time to go talk to a therapist again, and get level-headed."

Trial in May

According to a Parole Board of Canada pre-release report from July 2015, Achorn was unable to complete a treatment program for sexual deviancy while in prison.

The report notes Achorn abused his victims, "frequently, and for a very significant period of time."

The board told Achorn, "although you accept some responsibility, you greatly minimize your behaviour."

He will be tried in Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa by judge alone in early May.