Kelowna man repeatedly molested eight-year-old, judge hears | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna man repeatedly molested eight-year-old, judge hears

KELOWNA – A local man in the process of changing his gender admitted in Kelowna court he molested an eight-year-old girl nine times in less than a year.

Judge Monica McParland wiped tears from her eyes as the victim’s mother read a statement to the court today, April 30.

“I feel like I have completely failed my daughter,” she said. “Moving forward seems like an impossibility. (My daughter) lost her childhood innocence and her concept of a safe world. This is something… I cannot repair.”

She told Judge McParland that ever since Jeremy Melvin Carlson, 27, also known as Rhiley, repeatedly molested her while in a position of trust between December 2015 and September 2016, her daughter has become private, reclusive and depressed. Neither the child nor the mother can be identified by court order. 

Carlson admitted to police that he touched the girls’ genitals and touched her with his penis. He was arrested in September 2016 and pleaded guilty to one count of sexual interference of a minor.

Carlson has no criminal record, but Crown spent the morning making a case for up to 20 months in prison for the damage he caused.

“Though not in a caregiving role, he was still in a position of trust,” she said.

Carlson’s lawyer, Jacqueline Halliburn, argued that her client, himself a victim of sexual and physical abuse, was struggling with gender dysmorphia and marijuana abuse at the time.

“She remembers two times (when she molested the victim) clearly but admits there were more,” Halliburn said. “She doesn’t really know how many (times).”

Carlson is in the early stages of hormone therapy and is in the process of changing his name and gender.

Carlson's lawyer asked for a sentence of 90 days to be served on weekends, arguing that personal circumstances warrant the lowest range available.

She admits Carlson has “poor sexual boundaries” due to confused gender identity but has sought help since the arrest and is not attracted to children.

Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for next month. According to federal law, inmates with male genitalia are required to serve their sentence in a male facility.

— Clarifying information about the accused's actions was added to this story May 1 at 11:04 a.m.

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