Sentence reduced due to errors in Vernon child sex assault case - InfoNews

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Sentence reduced due to errors in Vernon child sex assault case

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November 08, 2016 - 1:00 PM


VERNON - A man convicted of raping his young and disabled daughter will serve less than three more years in prison after his sentence was reduced.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, was granted an appeal reducing his sentence to four years, down from six. With credit for time already served in custody, he will spend roughly two-and-a-half more years behind bars.

He was initially found guilty last year in Vernon Supreme Court on two counts of sexual assault against his daughter, who was abused roughly once or twice a week for four years started when she was 10. She is now in her 20s. Her father was also found guilty of one count of sexually assaulting her friend.

On appeal of his sentence, the man argued the sentencing judge made a mistake in her interpretation of the jury’s verdict, which convicted him on the sexual assaults but found him not guilty of incest. At sentencing, Crown counsel explained that while the accused was the victim’s biological father, she failed to prove he knew she was his natural daughter. The accused said the missing element leading to the incest acquittal was not knowledge of the relation, but the absence of any sexual intercourse. The court of appeal agreed and reduced the jail term. 

However, when the man tried a similar argument while appealing his overall conviction several months ago, a panel of three Supreme Court Justices — including one of the same ones on the sentencing appeal — dismissed the appeal. In that appeal, he argued the jury came back with an inconsistent verdict by acquitting him of incest and convicting him of sexual assault. The judges, on the other hand, said the jury could well have had reasonable doubt that actual sexual intercourse took place, even though the victim described the assaults as rape.

The man was convicted on charges against a different daughter in 1982 and continues to profess his innocence in both cases. The sentencing judge noted he has no remorse and, subsequently, poor prospects for treatment and rehabilitation.

He is banned from being in the presence of any person under the age of 16 unless supervised by another adult and will be listed on the sexual offender registry for life.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 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.

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