South Okanagan man sentenced to four years in prison for sexual assaults on step-daughters

A 44 year old man faces four years in jail following a decision today by a Penticton judge on a guilty plea for two counts of sexual assault, Dec. 11, 2017.

PENTICTON - A South Okanagan man will spend four years in jail following a judge’s decision on charges of sexual assault today.

The man and his two victims cannot be named due to a publication ban on today’s proceedings.

The accused entered guilty pleas on two counts of sexual assault stemming from incidents taking place between June 1 and November 21, 2016 on multiple occasions in the residence where the accused lived with his common law wife and her two daughters.

The accused's actions included instances of him grabbing the victims’ thighs and breasts, to having simulated sex with the victims. The accused also had his victims masturbate him and perform fellatio on him on several occasions.

The victims were nine and 12 at the time. The events occurred both in the girls’ bedrooms as well as in the bedroom the accused shared with the victims' mother.

It wasn’t until the eldest victim reported the incidents to a school counsellor the abuse was discovered.

Judge Michelle Daneliuk noted the devastating impact the crimes had on the entire family, including victim impact statements by the two victims of sleep loss, anger and loss of trust in adults.

Aggravating factors in the decision included the nature of the abuse of the young victims, the accused’s abuse of a position of trust, the number of victims and the significant traumatic impacts on the victims.

Judge Daneliuk noted the accused’s early guilty plea, his complete cooperation with police and a quote from defence lawyer James Pennington who said he had “never seen a client so contrite,” as mitigating factors.

She also noted a pre-sentence report stating the accused bore full responsibility for his actions, labelling himself “a monster.”

Judge Daneliuk said the accused had been completely cut off by his common-law family and his own family by his actions, and had been living the life of an indigent since the incidents. He also expressed revulsion for his own actions and had suicidal thoughts.

The judge said the 44-year-old accused was a first time offender, a highly functioning and contributing member of society who had been described as "the quintessential family man" at one time.

“He has resigned himself to a fate with no future,” the judge said, adding a pre-sentence report classified him as a low to moderate risk to reoffend.

The judge sentenced the accused to a total of 48 months on the two counts. He also faces a lifetime firearms ban, and lifetime registration as a sex offender, in addition to a 10 year ban on using public parks, schools, pools, or places where youth might be found.

The accused, who appeared in court in person for the decision, said nothing, staring at the floor during much of the proceedings prior to being led away in handcuffs.

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