June 24, 2013 - 12:36 PM
PENTICTON - An Oliver man got a five-year prison term on Monday for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter.
The girl's biological father was happy the offender, who cannot be identified due to a court order, was sentenced after a three-and-half-year long wait.
The biological father was in Penticton court with his daughter, her counsellor and family members. Someone was heard saying, "Thank God" when provincial court Judge Meg Shaw laid down her five-year sentence. The offender was handcuffed and led away by two sheriffs following the sentence.
The father, who also cannot be named, briefly spoke about his daughter's trauma.
"We're just glad sentencing has been resolved. It's been a long time."
The crimes against his daughter began when she was 10 years old and lasted for 18 months. The father said it was tough to hear what the offender did in explicit detail.
His daughter is 14 years old now and has been in counselling since the offender's arrest. Her father called her a trooper as she cried every time she appeared at court.
On Monday, Shaw said she couldn't imagine a more blatant immoral act.
"(He) violated his trust and took advantage of being a step-parent," she said
Crown prosecutor Nashina Devji said last week the offender has no remorse and blames his victim, calling her evil. Some of the convicted man's family members said much the same. The man also seems unable to recognize the damage he has caused or see himself in a bad light.
Shaw explained he must be punished. While he is employed and has family support, his lack of remorse means he will not benefit from rehabilitation programs, the judge said. He must be locked up for his crimes and to demonstrate what happens to those who violate children.
He was sentenced on the count of sexual assault. The counts of sexual interference of a person under 16 and touching a young person for sexual purpose were rolled into the sexual assault charge.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013