September 01, 2015 - 4:42 PM
JUDGE SEES TO REMOVAL OF TATTOO 'TROPHY'
VERNON - A diagnosed pedophile is going behind bars for what a Vernon Provincial Court judge called vile, depraved and repeated sex crimes against his step-daughters.
The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the girls, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girls when they were between the ages of 6 and 11, typically when they got home from school, while their mom was at work. The assaults occurred almost daily, Crown counsel Shirley Meldrum said during a sentence hearing Tuesday, Sept. 1.
“The abuse he inflicted upon the girls occurred over a substantial period of time. It was exploitative, repetitive, and it robbed them of their childhood,” Meldrum said.
The girls never told anyone about the abuse. It wasn’t until an unrelated child pornography investigation led investigators to the accused’s home that the sexual assaults finally came to light through police interviews with the girls, now in their teens.
Police seized two laptops, a tablet and a cell phone containing some 1,800 images of child pornography. The images depict naked girls between the ages of 2 and 10 engaging in various sexual acts. At least one image shows a very young girl bound and gagged on a bed.
The sexual assaults against the accused’s stepdaughters were never connected to the child pornography found in his possession and the offences were looked at separately in court.
Meldrum asked Provincial Court Judge Mark Takahashi to consider imposing a six-and-a-half year jail term on the sexual assault charges, plus 18 months for the possession and importing child pornography charges. A psychiatric assessment diagnosed the accused as a pedophile and put him at medium risk of reoffending. Meldrum said the diagnosis, along with a substance abuse problem, will make treatment a challenge.
Defence lawyer Juan O’Quinn said the accused has taken steps in prison to rehabilitate himself, including counselling, distance education classes, and bible courses. He also pointed out the guilty pleas saved the victims the stress of going through a trial.
O’Quinn agreed on six-and-a-half years for the sexual assault charges, but asked Takahashi to consider only 12 months on the child pornography files. He said the accused has been held in segregation, with inmates accused of similar crimes, and as a result hasn’t been able to access all programs at the correctional centre.
Takahashi said the accused "used the children to satisfy his base sexual needs over and over again in the vilest of circumstances" and betrayed his position of trust as a parental figure. He sentenced the man to six-and-a-half years in jail for the sexual assaults, and a further 18 months for the child pornography offences. With credit for time already served in custody, the accused faces five-and-a-half years of new time behind bars.
Takahashi also imposed a no contact order with the girls and their mother and a 20-year designation on the sexual offender registry. He also included an unusual recommendation to correctional services — that they assist the accused in expediting the removal of a tattoo. One of the girls explained in a victim impact statement that the accused had her name tattooed to himself, something she feels he wears like a trophy. Takahashi asked that the family be notified when the tattoo has been removed.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015