Weekend jail time for Kamloops man who sexually assaulted woman after New Year's party | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Weekend jail time for Kamloops man who sexually assaulted woman after New Year's party

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October 11, 2017 - 11:34 AM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man who sexually assaulted a woman at his home after a party will have to serve his jail time on weekends.

Starting this Friday, Mathew Rittinger will check in at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre every weekend until his 90-day sentence is up. He was convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a woman he met at a New Year's Eve party in 2014.

Kamloops Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop sentenced Rittinger today, Oct. 11, to an intermittent jail sentence for his offence. The now 25-year-old is also required to register as a sexual offender for 20 years.

His lawyer, Kevin Church, argued in Rittinger's sentencing hearing for a conditional discharge or suspended sentence. If the court had granted a conditional discharge and Rittinger abided by his conditions, he would have walked away without a criminal record.

"A conditional discharge or suspended sentence does not meet denunciation or deterrence," Hyslop said in her decision.

Hyslop convicted Rittinger earlier this year of one count of sexual assault after a trial. He was originally charged with two counts of sexual assault, but Hyslop acquitted him of the first charge.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2015, two women, who cannot be identified due to a court-ordered publication ban, went to Rittinger's home after attending a New Year's Eve party in Kamloops. He offered them a ride and to stay at his place until the cab rush slowed down.

The women didn't know each other well, but had met through another friend. The victim in this case kissed Rittinger at the party, but when they were waiting for a ride to his home, she made it clear she didn't want to have sex with him. 

When they got to Rittinger's home, the victim went up to Rittinger's bedroom with him where they began kissing on his bed. The victim testified during trial that she didn't want to continue physical contact with him so she told him she was drunk and wanted to go to sleep.

Around the time she fell asleep, the victim told the court, Rittinger pulled her on top of him and aggressively grabbed her groin. They struggled until she was able to get off of him, after telling him 'no' more than 20 times.

In her decision, Hyslop spoke about how this offence will impact Rittinger in terms of his career and the rest of his life. He had gone to Thompson Rivers University and obtained a degree in human resources. He likely won't be able to work in that field, Hyslop said. 

"Before this assault, Mr. Rittinger's future looked bright," Hyslop said. "I find that Mr. Rittinger's prospects for rehabilitation are good."

She pointed out Rittinger has been on conditions for more than two years and hasn't had any breaches. He'll serve his jail time beginning Fridays at 6 p.m. and will be released Sundays at 4 p.m.

For the first six months of his sentence, he'll be placed on a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. He won't be allowed to have drugs or alcohol and can't contact the victim. He'll be on probation for 45 days after the completion of his jail sentence.

For more coverage on this trial, go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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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