May 10, 2016 - 11:30 AM
KELOWNA - A local tattoo artist and body piercer was sentenced to 20 months in jail for sexually touching a minor last summer as well as numerous breaches of release conditions.
On April 29 Steven James Clark, 32, pleaded guilty to the charges in Kelowna Provincial Court, but because he denied having sex with the 15-year-old victim Judge Brad Chapman was forced to recall a witness who says she saw him on top of her after a house party.
Crown prosecutor Cory LaBoucane said today, May 9, that at the last minute he and Clark’s lawyer Michael Stephenson were able to come to an agreement, allowing the sentencing to proceed at that time.
The witness was crucial to the case. The girl is a friend of the victim and was at the same party in August 2015 as the victim and Clark. She testified she saw Clark on top of her intoxicated friend when she was passed out in a bedroom.
She says she saw him from behind with his pants down and he was “thrusting with his hips.”
In addition to time already served while awaiting sentencing, Clark will serve another 11 months behind bars for sexual touching of a minor and breaches of release. Charges of sexual assault were stayed.
Crown was seeking a sentence of between 22 and 27 months for all charges as well as a curfew and travel restrictions. His lawyer asked for a sentence of less than eight months.
In addition to charges of sexual touching of someone under 16, Clark pleaded guilty to seven breaches of the conditions of his release. After he was arrested for the alleged rape and posted $2,000 bail, he failed to show up to several scheduled and required meetings with a bail supervisor, moved residences without notifying the court and was employed at an establishment that sold liquor. A warrant was issued and police found him on Feb. 4, intoxicated and living with a new girlfriend who has a young daughter.
A 20-month sentence is on the higher range for a charge of sexual touching of a minor.
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