North Okanagan man heading to prison for 'predatory' actions toward young girl - InfoNews

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North Okanagan man heading to prison for 'predatory' actions toward young girl

November 21, 2018 - 5:00 PM

VERNON - A 39-year-old North Okanagan man who says "troubled girls (are) his specialty" will spend the next two years in federal prison for sexually interfering with an emotionally troubled 15-year-old girl.

A judge said Dion Gerald Ronald Clowry was ‘predatory’ toward a girl he knew was having difficulties, but who he still "demeaned" in text messages and sought her two more times for sex "for bragging rights."

Clowry made no attempt to learn the age of the young girl when he had sex with her three different times in June and July, 2015, according to a Nov. 2 B.C. Supreme Court sentencing decision.

Justice Allan Betton said in the decision the girl was first with Clowry's then-20-year-old nephew Brayden Hopp-Canning, who was also convicted of sexual interference of a person under age 16.

Hopp-Canning introduced the girl to Clowry while at Clowry’s parents house where they had sex, Betton wrote.

Betton said the girl was incapable of consenting to the sexual activity.”

Making matters worse for Clowry, he was also likely aware she was cutting herself and knew she was having difficulties.

“At the time, the victim was struggling with personal issues that led her to engage in self harm, specifically cutting, and she struggled with thoughts of suicide,” Betton said. "Her body had visible scars from the cutting.”

Many other details weren’t revealed in the sentencing, but Betton said he heard evidence Clowry "held or demonstrated a demeaning and objectivating view of the victim, as illustrated by his text messages.”

“The occasion of sexual intercourse may be considered opportunistic, that is the first one, but the second and third are predatory behaviour upon a vulnerable child; and that the accused was aware of the vulnerability of the victim and continues to minimize the impact on the victim,” Betton wrote.

Clowry bragged to probation officers about having had 150 sexual partners and said, "troubled girls (are) his specialty." He later added: “I pulled back from the relationship when I realized I could not help her.”

Betton was adamant that Clowry showed “no sincere desire to assist the victim with her difficulties.”

In choosing a higher range of sentencing he stressed again that the second and third encounter were ‘predatory’.

"At least after the first sexual encounter, the accused was aware that the victim was having emotional difficulties and he persisted in his contact. It suggests that his sexual conquest and bragging rights were what motivated him, not a concern for the impact upon the victim,” Betton said.

Betton heard victim impacts statements and the "life-threatening impact of such callousness” from the girl and her mother.

"Those victim impact statements, in my view, also demonstrate the rationale and logic for the legal age of consent,” he said. "That logic and rationale lies in the vulnerability of young people. It recognizes that young people do not have the tools to make such decisions and place the responsibility on adults with whom they come in contact to make those decisions. Particularly for someone in his mid thirties, that responsibility is well placed, particularly when he knows that person is, to use his own word, troubled.”

The Crown sought a sentence of five years in prison, while Clowry sought a sentence of 12 to 24 months because he has a sparse and dated criminal record.

Betton went with 28 months in prison for the charge of sexual interference of a person under age 16.

“The fact (the victim) was dealing with personal issues of a significant nature are all important considerations. The accused's attitude toward her is a troubling feature of his conduct.”

Clowry will also be placed on the sex offender registry for 20 years. 

— This story was edited for style and content Nov. 22 at 10:16 a.m.


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