A 71-year-old Nanaimo man has been sentenced to nine months in jail for sexually assaulting a girl more than 40 years ago.
The sentencing, handed down in provincial court in Nanaimo on April 8, was for an offence committed sometime between Sept. 1, 1978 and June 30, 1979, according to court documents, when the victim was nine or 10 years old and the accused was 28 or 29, following an evening when the accused had spent an evening partying with the girl’s family.
The accused – referred to as J.O.B.B. in court documents due to a publication ban – pleaded guilty to the offence in 2019. After a complaint was filed with police that year, the accused stated to police that he recalled touching the girl inappropriately.
In his remarks, Judge Brian Harvey noted from the victim’s impact statement that she appeared “deeply impacted” by what had been done to her.
“She is tired of revisiting and remembering the hurt. She still has feelings of guilt or self-harm. She unfortunately relives the trauma from these incidents involving the accused. She is still terrified and anxious when she sees the accused in public,” the judge said.
The victim seeks $28,100 in restitution for costs of treatment, medication, missed work and counselling, which the judge left to be dealt with as a civil action.
The Crown, stressing the seriousness of the matter, had sought a 12-month prison sentence and two years of probation. The defence sought a suspended sentence, but failing that, a jail sentence of 30 to 60 days to be served intermittently.
Judge Harvey, noted the mitigating factors in the case, which included information that the accused had himself been sexually abused leading to drug and alcohol abuse, a guilty plea that spared witnesses from having to testify, and the accused’s expression of remorse.
But Harvey also wrote that he found the accused to be morally culpable.
“There is no question in my mind that he knew that he was dealing with a very young … girl at the time of this offence. At that time he was a full-grown adult,” the judge said.
Harvey handed down a sentence of nine months in jail, followed by two years of probation with conditions that include no direct or indirect contact with the victim. He also cannot go to any public park, swimming area, community centre or playground where persons under 16 are present, nor communicate with anyone under 16. He must provide a DNA sample and register as a sex offender for 10 years.
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