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Grandparents of nine-year-old sex assault victim testify

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When her nine-year-old granddaughter came to her in the middle of the night and said someone had been in her room, the woman called 911 right away.

Testifying at the trial of Kyle Berkson, the woman said she also immediately noticed two things about the child: her arm was bleeding, and the bathing suit bottom she was wearing was damaged.

"Her shorts were cut ... right in the crotch area," said the grandmother, who has been "mom" to the little girl since she was seven months old.

Berkson, 36, is on trial in Surrey Provincial Court on charges of breaking and entering, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and uttering threats. It's alleged he broke into a Guildford-area home on April 23, 2010 and sexually assaulted a girl in her bedroom.

Before the incident, the grandmother testified, her granddaughter liked Barbie dolls and playing video games on websites such as Disney and Kinder Surprise.

But the girl, she said, has since changed.

"She grew up instantly into an angry teenager," the woman said.

There is a publication ban on any information that could identify the victim.

Berkson, his head shaved, with stubble on the chin of his scarred face, sat in the glass prisoner's box, sometimes listening, sometimes sitting sideways, looking down and fidgeting.

The woman told the court she had known Berkson since he was about 12 years old and that the young man regularly visited with a friend who lived in a trailer on her Guildford property. Berkson, she said, had been in her and her longtime partner's house many times.

He had also shared with her that he'd had trouble with cocaine in the past.

When asked if she recognized a prescription pill bottle with Berkson's name on it, or a small black flashlight that were found in the girl's room, the witness said she did not.

Earlier in the day, the victim's grandfather took the stand, saying when the little girl woke him and his partner, he initially thought she had just had a bad dream.

He said when police arrived and asked if she recognized the person who had been in her room, the girl mentioned Berkson's name.

The trial continues. The victim, now 10 years old, is expected to testify in court on Friday.

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