April 15, 2013 - 6:22 PM
A Penticton man was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years today for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter and pimping her out to others.
And he didn't take it well. He interrupted the sentencing proceeding by swearing and acting out. Neither he nor his stepdaughter can be identified by court order. He was convicted of five sex offences and three prostitution offences and given a nine-and-a-half year sentence. He's already served the equivalent of two years in prison.
The man appeared via video today in Penticton Provincial Court and interrupted the sentence by judge Greg Koturbash. First, the prisoner blocked the video screen. Sheriffs asked him to remove his hand from the lens. He did it a second time and the sheriffs told him to leave the camera alone. Instead, he turned his chair and his back to the courtroom. He could be heard complaining, "I'm done, I'm done."
He turned around when the sentence for a heroin possession offence came up.
"I'm not guilty of that," he said. "I'm not pleading guilty."
Koturbash told him he already pled guilty.
"F***, Mr. Pennington say something," he said.
The drug matter was postponed by his defence lawyer, James Pennington.
This was the accused's biggest outburst throughout sentencing today. He sat quietly most of the time and was brief when answering questions.
Crown lawyer Wendy Kavanagh was looking for a sentence of 10 to 14 years. She said this man has a "serious moral culpability." The man continues to deny the offenses, he refused to be psychologically evaluated and has a long criminal record with 28 prior convictions.
The victim was also in the courtroom. She did not make a statement to the press.
Kavanagh said the victim is forever scarred by her experience. The sexual offences started when the complainant was about 12 years old. The abuse lasted for five years and happened almost nightly at the victim's home. The prostitution lasted about two years. Some of the victim's johns were contacted outside the Soupateria on Martin Avenue.
Four of those johns have been arrested and sentenced. Benny Wolfe, a former Penticton mayoral candidate, was given seven months in jail and two years probation. Kenneth Toovey was given six months and one year probation. Baldev Singh Toor and Rick Wyatt, who both pled guilty, received $500 fines and were ordered to pay $500 each to the victim.
Pennington said his client should receive some credit for time served to make the sentence five years. The man has been in custody since his 2011 arrest. During his time in prison he had difficulty communicating with the lawyer and for being diabetic.
Koturbash said this case is a particularly tragic one and was not satisfied the man earned the time-served credit his lawyer asked for. The judge also said being diabetic does not entitle the accused to credit. He also wondered about rehabilitation.
"You are potentially not a good candidate for treatment," the judge said.
He was sentenced for sexual interference with a person under 14, sexual interference with a person under 16, living on the profits of prostitution of person under 18, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, being a parent or guardian procuring sexual activity and aiding a person to engage in prostitution.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013