September 14, 2016 - 3:42 PM
KAMLOOPS - A man convicted of raping a prostitute in a Kamloops public park nearly seven years ago will spend the next three years behind bars and be registered as a sex offender.
Taylor James Matchett, 28, was charged with sexual assault with a weapon after the complainant alleged she was raped at gunpoint.
A jury found Matchett guilty of sexual assault in July but Crown couldn't prove a gun was involved, so the jury acquitted him of the charge of sexual assault with a weapon.
Crown prosecutor Laura Drake asked a Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley to sentence Matchett to three to four years behind bars. She told the court the general sentence range for a sexual assault conviction is between two and six years, but exceptional circumstances could lead to a lesser sentence.
"This case has no exceptional circumstances that would lower the range," Drake said.
Drake outlined a number of aggravating factors in the case, including Matchett forcing the victim to have oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Court heard Matchett also threatened the victim after the assault. He took her bag and said if she went to the police he would find her and cause her more harm.
"Street prostitutes are among the most vulnerable groups in our society," Drake said.
Matchett's defence lawyer Sheldon Tate asked Justice Dley to consider his client's young age at the time of the offence in his sentencing decision.
"You should give Mr. Matchett a sentence somewhere north of two years," Tate said, seeking a two to three year custodial sentence.
The assault happened on Nov. 11, 2009, but police had no leads until Matchett was arrested for a commercial break-in in Alberta last year. As part of his conviction, he had to provide a DNA sample. It matched the DNA found on the victim of the Kamloops sexual assault.
The trial took place over the summer, where jurors heard testimony from the victim and the accused.
Justice Dley pointed out the victim had several inconsistencies in her original statements to police, but he believes it was due to her wanting to hide the fact she was a prostitute.
Matchett has been credited with 137 days served in prison, which will be deducted from his sentence.
"His sentence for this offence will start after he is done serving his sentences on other unrelated offences," Drake said.
Matchett will have to register as a sex offender for 20 years and is under a lifetime weapons prohibition.
Find past stories on Matchett's trial here.
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