May 13, 2014 - 2:53 PM
"I JUST MADE A MISTAKE. SHE LOOKED OLDER."
KELOWNA – A Kelowna man was handed a 15-month jail sentence for having consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl in 2013.
Devin Thomas James Myra, who was 22 at the time, pleaded guilty in Kelowna Provincial Court Monday. He admitted to meeting the girl at a mutual friend’s house and then agreeing on April 28, 2013 when she contacted him through Facebook to ask him to buy her alcohol.
According to a pre-sentence report, Myra and the victim were chatting online when Myra admitted to feeling depressed, saying he “needed to get laid.” The victim said although she would be willing, she was unable to meet him because she did not have a car.
Myra and a friend then picked her up and the three of them drove to Shannon Lake for a campfire and some drinks. After she consumed the majority of a two-litre bottle of cooler, Myra and the victim got into the backseat and had sex.
“I just made a mistake. She looked older,” Myra told Judge Brad Chapman via video Monday. “I should have known better.”
The next day, Myra drove the victim home but pretended the sex didn’t happen.
Chapman described the crime as more opportunistic than predatory, saying the victim did not regret the incident.
“He is remorseful,” said defence lawyer Blaine Weststrate. “He has viewed this as a learning opportunity.”
“It’s always challenging,” Chapman said. “You’ve got consent in the conventional sense but you’ve got an adult giving alcohol to someone at an (age) they’re not able to consent.”
Myra has an extensive criminal record, including ten convictions over the last four years. He is currently in jail for a break and enter he committed in 2013 and admits he has a drug and alcohol problem.
The mandatory minimum sentence for sexual interference of a person under age 16 is 12 months in jail. Crown lawyer Murray Kaay was seeking 18 months in jail with three years’ probation but Chapman opted for the 15-month sentence because Myra did not initiate contact and there was no evidence of violence.
“We are dealing with a 14-year-old,” Chapman said. “The Court has to protect young people.”
Myra will also be on probation for two years and is forbidden from unsupervised contact with anyone under 16. He must also submit a DNA sample and register as a sex-offender.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014