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B.C. court dismisses appeal: aboriginal past irrelevant in sexual assault case

November 04, 2014 - 1:08 PM

KAMLOOPS - British Columbia's top court has dismissed the appeal of a man who tried to rape a sleeping 18-year-old woman, saying his difficult aboriginal past is irrelevant.

George Eustache, 51, was convicted of the sexual assault in January and sentenced to 12 months behind bars and two years' probation.

Eustache appealed his sentence, claiming the judge failed to consider his difficult upbringing as a mitigating factor or as a factor that should lessen his moral culpability.

In his B.C. Court of Appeal case, Eustache argued that a judge failed to consider his difficult upbringing as a mitigating factor or as a factor that should lessen his moral culpability.

The panel of high-court judges disagreed, upholding the sentence.

On July 11, 2011, Eustache held a party at his house on the Chu Chua Reserve near Barriere, B.C.

One of the guests was the victim, who had just turned 18 and cannot be identified due to a mandatory publication ban protecting the names of sexual assault victims.

B.C. Supreme Court heard the woman was unconscious at 5 a.m. when Eustache took off her pants and tried to have sex with her.

The assault ended when the victim’s cousin entered the room.

Court heard Eustache was sexually assaulted himself as a child and was a student at the Kamloops Indian residential school in his teens.

Eustache has a brief criminal record, including two convictions for impaired driving and a 2005 assault. Court heard that assault occurred after the victim — the mother of the woman he sexually assaulted in 2011 — refused to have sex with him.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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