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Confession prompts sexual assault sentencing

Man gets probation for abuse committed as teen

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 08/1/2017 10:30 AM

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A young man was sentenced in Steinbach court last Thursday to 18 months of unsupervised probation for an offence committed when he was a teenager: sexual interference involving a young boy.

The incidents, which occurred in a southeastern Manitoba home six years ago, would never have come to light if not for the man coming forward himself last November to confess his actions to police.

The case was dealt with as a youth court matter and as such the accused, who is now an adult, cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A publication ban also protects the identity of the victim.

The man shared with police that he had convinced a young boy, who often visited the home, to touch the man’s penis and put it in his mouth. He later removed the boy’s pants and underwear and told him he "wanted to put his penis in (his) ass." In another incident, he masturbated in front of the boy while the pair played video games.

"He’s a man of faith, a devout Christian…he didn’t feel right in a church praying knowing what he had done," said defence lawyer Sheldon Pinx of his client.

The victim was contacted by police to verify the man’s claim. The boy, who is now receiving therapy, told police he was too young to know what happened was wrong.

Pinx argued against a Crown submission for supervised probation. He noted the man is considered a low risk to reoffend according to a counselling report provided to the court.

"I am so sorry for what I did and nothing can take it back…I’m trying to make it right with him and hopefully one day he can forgive me," the man told the court.

Judge Ken Champagne made a point of addressing the accused by his first name as a reminder to himself, the judge said, that he was dealing with a youth matter.

Champagne acknowledged the unusual nature in which the case came to court was a mitigating factor in this instance.

"It tells me that he does in fact have a conscience and was bothered by his actions," he said.

That said, Champagne was clear that, had this occurred when the man was older, the result would have been different, regardless of the confession.

"Had this happened when he was an adult, I would not hesitate in sending him to jail."

As part of the man’s 18 months of unsupervised probation, he is barred from contact with the victim and must provide police a DNA sample.

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