Judge issues non-reporting order to protect victim’s identity
A coach of a girls team was remanded in custody last week after Justice Charles Quin heard that the man admitted having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
The man was 31 at the time and in a position of trust, Crown Counsel Laura Manson said.
She asked the court to order that no details be published which could lead to the victim’s identity and Justice Quin agreed.
Sentencing was put off until June 3, but jail time was inevitable, the judge agreed. He rejected defense attorney Fiona Robertson’s request for bail to be continued.
The defendant pleaded guilty in February to one charge of defilement and one charge of possessing an indecent photo of a child. Sentencing was adjourned at that time so that a social inquiry report could be prepared and a victim impact statement could be obtained.
Ms. Manson said the offenses were discovered when an argument between the girl and her parents led her to disclose that she had engaged in sex with the defendant that day at his home.
Her parents called police and the girl was interviewed. She described sexual activity with the defendant, whom she knew through a sporting activity where he was an instructor/coach.
She thought it was a serious relationship and they would tell people about it when she was 16.
The defendant became aware of the allegation and turned himself into police, cooperating with their investigation. He admitted knowing she was 13. His cellphone had a picture showing two people having sex and he agreed it was he and the girl.
Ms. Manson said the lighting was dim and there was nothing graphic in terms of nudity, but it was obvious what it was. The girl did not know that a recording was taking place and she did not consent.
The recording of the act could be considered an aggravating feature of the defilement or it could be considered a separate offense, both counsel agreed. Justice Quin said he would consider how to deal with it, but he would not count it twice for sentencing purposes.
Ms. Robertson said there was an aspect of mentoring in the relationship between the man and the girl. He had empathized with her because of difficulties in his own childhood, Ms. Robertson indicated, but she did not give any details.
She accepted that the age difference and the man’s position of trust were aggravating features. She listed as mitigating features the genuine affection between him and the girl, the fact that there was no threat or pressure or use of any intoxicant, the defendant’s remorse, guilty plea and previous positive good character.
She accepted that the picture on his phone was an aggravating feature, but she called it unsophisticated and said it was a single image for which there was no intention of distribution.
Ms. Robertson pointed out that the man’s incarceration will have a significant financial and emotional impact on his children, and he will lose his job and role in the community. The social inquiry report had indicated a program that would benefit him, but that program is not available here, she said.