Entertainer jailed for sexual relations with teen
A Cape Breton singer/songwriter was sentenced Thursday to a 165-day provincial jail sentence after pleading guilty to a sex offence involving a person under the age of 16.
Johnathan Stephen MacInnis, 22, of Northside East Bay, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual interference that occurred between August and November
2016 in Sydney. Charges of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching were withdrawn.
At the time of the offence, the male victim was between the age of 14 and 15. The name or any information that could lead to the identity of the victim is banned from publication. The age of consent in Canada is 16.
In passing sentence, Judge Alain Bégin also ordered MacInnis also serve an 18-month probation period during which he is to have no contact with the victim or anyone else under the age of 18, either in person or online.
He is also to submit a DNA sample to the national registry and is to be a registered sex offender for 10 years.
According to an agreed statement of facts, MacInnis admitted to police that he gave the victim oral sex on two occasions.
MacInnis and the victim were known to each other and the court was told there was no position of authority or trust by MacInnis over the teenager.
“The victim needs to be reassured he did nothing wrong. He was the victim,” said the judge, directing the Crown to ensure his comments in court were shared with the victim.
Bégin said while MacInnis has suffered because of what occurred, his actions resulted in greater suffering for the victim.
According to the victim impact statement, the teen continues to be an emotional mess, is missing school and unable to get sufficient sleep.
MacInnis is a staple on the local music scene having released his first album in 2009 at the age of 14. He released his third album in 2013.
He has appeared on stage in numerous local productions along with performances in New York, Orlando, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, and across the Maritimes.
He also worked for an online music school that is now shut down.
The incidents involving the teen were brought to light after inappropriate messages on Facebook, viewed by two other individuals, were brought to the attention of police.
Prosecutor Mark Gouthro sought a one-year jail sentence while defence lawyer Robert Sampson recommended the mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail.