September 23, 2014 - 1:47 PM
PENTICTON - A local man was sentenced today to nearly five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of sexual and aggravated assault.
Darren MacDonald, 42, appeared in Penticton Supreme Court via video conference from Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre where he has been in custody since Aug. 11, 2013.
He pleaded guilty this April to five charges including sexual assault, unlawful confinement and use of an imitation firearm. The charges stem from a 2013 incident when MacDonald drove a 19-year-old woman he knew to a secluded clearing under false pretenses.
After parking and exiting the vehicle, MacDonald revealed an imitation firearm, however the woman believed it to be real. He attempted to choke her, pushed her to the ground, bound her hands behind her back and her ankles to the security handles of the vehicle once he moved her into the back cab. He cut off her clothes and raped her three times.
He told her “it is now my night to be selfish,” Crown prosecutor John Swanson said.
After the assault, MacDonald took a number of pills and alcohol in attempt to kill himself. He recorded himself confessing to the assault and said he was now committing suicide, Swanson said.
After MacDonald became sick, the victim drove herself and her attacker to an area where she could get enough reception to call police on her cell phone.
MacDonald has a criminal history of assault-related convictions, including an assault on his ex-wife in 1999.
A psychological evaluation revealed MacDonald has symptoms of personality disorders, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
MacDonald prepared three short written letters to read before the court—one to the lawyers and judge, one to the victim’s family, and a third to the victim herself.
He said he is willing to do what it takes to repay “his debt” and reassured the victim “I have no negative feelings toward her,” and is thankful she saved his life.
“The truth is, there is just no excuse for my behaviour,” he said. He asked her to pass all the guilt she feels on to him as “his burden to bare,” and apologized for what he did.
Justice Terence Schultes ordered a sentence of six and a half years plus credit for pre-sentence time spent in jail. MacDonald will spend another 58 months—four years and eight months—in jail and receive the maximum amount of help possible to rehabilitate himself, Schultes said. MacDonald will remain on a sex offender list and firearm prohibition list for life.
The crime was premeditated and a “quite humiliating and degrading way” to commit an offence, he said. MacDonald left the victim feeling “more like a thing than a person, being confined that way,” and she must be in a “state of sheer terror,” he said.
But Schultes said he felt MacDonald is sincere in his apologies and is remorseful for his actions.
“You have worth, you have a lot going for you,” Schultes said to MacDonald, but warned him not to put himself in situations where he could possibly hurt people again in this way.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014