A man who admitted indecently assaulting his pre-teen stepdaughter was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment last week.
With credit for time on curfew and electronic monitoring, it was not immediately clear how much time the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would spend in custody, but Justice Michael Wood recommended that the man be deported on his release.
Senior Crown counsel Nicole Petit indicated that police became aware of the situation in September 2017, when officers responded to a report that the defendant had been assaulted by relatives of his 11-year-old stepdaughter.
On that date, he had picked up the girl, who was his wife’s daughter, and a younger child, who belonged to him and his wife. He took them back to the one-bedroom apartment the family lived in and suggested the three of them take a nap. While the victim was lying at his side, he touched her chest and thighs.
The girl got up and went into the living room, where she start to cry and then phoned her aunt to tell her what had happened.
The man texted his wife and told her what he had done.
He also admitted that he had touched the girl in a similar way on two previous occasions when she had been asleep.
Ms. Petit told the court: “If he is not rehabilitated, this is going to happen again.”
She pointed to the man’s social inquiry report, which indicated that he did not seem conscious of the effect of his offending and he seemed to blame the girl, who was “developing.”
Defense attorney Steve McField advised the court that the man had not been working since his arrest. With no economic benefit to staying, the wife had taken the two children back to her native country. Now the defendant wanted to get back to his family and make amends.
Mr. McField commented on the lack of privacy that resulted from all four family members sleeping in one small room.
In passing sentence, Justice Wood referred to the defendant’s early admissions. He had confessed to two incidents no one apparently had been aware of, saying, “I did something terrible to my stepdaughter when she was sleeping … I do not know what is wrong with me.”
The judge said he could not speculate about the impact of this offending on the girl herself. Since the girl had left the jurisdiction, a victim impact report had not been completed. “She obviously must have suffered some harm because of her tender years,” the judge said.
The judge found that the only aggravating feature was the man’s breach of trust. Mitigating factors included the man’s previous good character and his early pleas of guilty.
With a one-third credit for the defendant’s guilty plea, the judge sentenced him to four months in prison. He remanded the defendant in custody and asked Ms. Petit and Mr. McField to work out how much time the man had spent on curfew and on the electronic tag, so that authorities would know how much credit he should receive and how much time was left to serve.
Defendants have typically received one-half day credit for each day their liberty was restricted before sentence.