Defence wants suspended sentence for Kamloops man convicted of having sex with teenager | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy

Kamloops News

Defence wants suspended sentence for Kamloops man convicted of having sex with teenager

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 12, 2018 - 12:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A man who was convicted of not taking all reasonable steps to ensure a boy he had sex with was over the age of consent could spend up to two years behind bars — or avoid jail altogether.

Earlier this year, Gardian Angel was convicted of sexual interference of a person under 16 years old. This came after he had sex with a 14-year-old boy who he had met on Grindr, a location-based dating app for gay men. Supreme Court Justice Len Marchand concluded that Angel did not take all reasonable steps to ensure the boy was over the age of consent.

In Kamloops Supreme Court today, Sept. 12, Crown prosecutor Laura Drake asked the court to consider a sentence of 20 to 24 months in jail for Angel.

“It is the statutory aggravating factor that the victim was under 16,” Drake said.

At the time of the offence, Angel was 53 years old when he met the 14-year-old victim on the social media 'hook up' app Grindr. The victim had lied about his age on the app, court heard during trial, and presented himself as 18 years old.

The victim cannot be named due to a court-ordered publication ban which protects the identity of complainants in sexual offence cases.

Once Angel and the boy began talking and added each other on Facebook, Angel noticed the boy’s age was 16 on that profile and confronted the victim about it. The victim said he was in fact 16 years old. The pair met up after talking for a short time, and went to Angel’s home where they had sex, although Angel denied that ever happened, adding that he only used Grindr to find models for his photography.

One of the aggravating factors of this case was the significant age difference between Angel and the victim, Drake said.

“That age difference did put a greater onus on Mr. Angel to take the reasonable steps that your lordship found he did not,” she said.

Drake’s position on sentencing is far apart from that of defence lawyer Jay Michi, who asked Marchand for a suspended sentence with three years of probation.

“This is a case that is truly unique,” Michi told the court.

He detailed the 55-year-old Angel’s difficult upbringing, and the significant impact media coverage of the case has had on Angel’s mental health.

“Mr. Angel has… suffered tremendously since he was charged,” Michi said.

Michi proposed a three-year probation which would include having a strict curfew for one year, which Drake took exception to, noting the offence was not committed at night.

Drake proposed a two-year probation period after the jail sentence, which would include prohibiting Angel from contacting the victim, being alone with anyone under 16 years old, attending any recommended counselling, and not possessing any device that could access the internet.

She added a 20-year registration as a sex offender was mandatory in this case.

Michi was not far from Drake in his suggestions for Angel’s probation, but included that there should be a Roger’s Order implemented, which essentially means he must take care of his mental health and follow medical advice during his probation.

At the end of the hearing Angel apologized for mistakes he made and added he’s sorry to anyone affected by those mistakes.

Marchand has reserved his decision on sentencing until at least next week.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2018

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile