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South Okanagan man guilty of violent sexual assault could face three years in prison

January 23, 2020 - 1:25 PM

A Penticton man found guilty of a 2017 sexual assault will have to wait another few weeks before finding out how many years he will face in prison.

Richard Skoyen was convicted in June, 2019 by Justice Sheri Ann Donegan on one count of sexual assault involving a Kamloops woman.

The woman’s name cannot be published due to a court-ordered publication ban.

READ MORE: Plans for a Kamloops photoshoot went awry, court hears in sexual assault trial

Lawyers met today, Jan. 23, in Kamloops court to submit their positions on the sentence. Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan asked for a sentence of three years.

“Mr. Skoyen is being sentenced for a violent sex assault committed in the face of repeated pleas that he stop,” Flanagan said.

On July 7, 2017, Skoyen and a Kamloops woman were connected by an Okanagan photographer. The woman, who occasionally worked as a model, had asked the photographer to set her with a male model for a photoshoot. The two decided to meet up in Merritt to find out if they had chemistry for a potential photoshoot.

In Merritt, the woman said Skoyen immediately forced rough sexual intercourse on her that left her in emotional and physical pain. A two-page report filed by a physician listed several injuries to the woman including extensive bruising to her arms, legs and back.

Skoyen’s defence lawyer, Paul Varga, asked for a sentence of two years plus a day.

During the trial, Skoyen testified the sexual acts between himself and the woman were completely consensual. During the trial, Skoyen and the victim were the only witnesses to testify.

Justice Donegan said she found the woman’s testimony to be honest and reliable, while she found Skoyen to be argumentative, flippant and occasionally sarcastic.

After the assault, Skoyen texted the woman asked if she had enjoyed her time with him. The woman replied saying she was in quite a bit of pain and that her lip was bruised. She also told him he did things she had specifically asked him not to do.

“At the end of the case I was left wondering if Mr. Skoyen understood the gravity of his allegations,” Flanagan said. “I was left wondering if he had listened or heard the evidence (of the woman).”

Both Crown and defence agreed Skoyen undergo a psychological assessment with his pre-sentencing report.

According to Flanagan, the report found a provisional diagnosis of sexual sadism disorder in Skoyen. In the report, Skoyen disclosed when he was younger he was “almost a sex addict” and ended up going to counselling.

Skoyen declined to speak when asked by Donegan if there was anything he would like to say.

Crown also said the sex assault conviction comes with a mandatory weapons prohibition of ten years and submitted Skoyen will have to register under the Sexual Offender Information Registration Act for 20 years. 

Donegan reserved her reasons for judgment for another few weeks. Lawyers will meet again next Monday to set a date for judgement.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 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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