Sen­tence due Fri­day

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - FRONT PAGE - ALAN S. HALE

A Van­cou­ver man, for­merly of Corn­wall, is to be sen­tenced on Fri­day for trap­ping a wo­man on an is­land and get­ting her to sub­mit to sex with him us­ing death threats.

The de­fen­dant, who can’t be iden­ti­fied due to a pub­li­ca­tion ban, con­tin­ues to ve­he­mently main­tain his in­no­cence, ar­gu­ing he was only try­ing to help the vic­tim who was suf­fer­ing from ad­dic­tion, men­tal health is­sues, and home­less­ness. He was found guilty of sex­ual as­sault and ut­ter­ing threats ear­lier this year.

A lengthy sen­tenc­ing hear­ing was held in Corn­wall court on Wed­nes­day, which of­ten headed into long tan­gents about the­ol­ogy, and the sup­posed plight of bor­na­gain Chris­tians in a so­ci­ety that hates and mis­un­der­stands them. The de­fence’s en­tire sub­mis­sion to the court was to paint the de­fen­dant as a paragon of Chris­tian self­less­ness, ar­gu­ing he had been com­pelled to help the vic­tim even though it could turn out badly for him – which it did.

De­fence coun­sel Frank Horn launched into sev­eral fiery ser­mons prais­ing his client, quot­ing verses from the Bible, ques­tion­ing the court’s abil­ity to truly judge born-again Chris­tians, and ac­cus­ing the vic­tim of fab­ri­cat­ing her story of what hap­pened as well as call­ing her “an an­gry and bit­ter wo­man.”

At least five times through­out the hear­ing the judge had to ask Horn to fo­cus on the task at hand rather than go­ing on in depth about re­li­gion, Chris­tian prin­ci­ples, and the in­jus­tice of his client’s con­vic­tion. The de­fen­dant even took the stand in a rare at­tempt to re­fute the vic­tim’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of him in her vic­tim im­pact state­ment.

Dur­ing his tes­ti­mony, he said he had learned his les­son.

“I’m not go­ing to help peo­ple I have wit­nessed from now on,” he said. “There are a lot of peo­ple you can’t trust.”

The de­fen­dant was con­victed of tak­ing the vic­tim to a cabin on an is­land his fam­ily owns about four or five years ago, af­ter she reached out to him for help.

When they ar­rived, the un­ex­pect­edly found a mem­ber of the de­fen­dant’s fam­ily there. But af­ter that per­son re­treated to a tent for the night, the de­fen­dant told the vic­tim he would kill her if she didn’t have sex with him. The pair had in­ter­course be­fore the vic­tim fled from the cabin look­ing for a way off the is­land.

In its sub­mis­sion, the Crown ar­gued that by tak­ing the wo­man to an is­land where she couldn’t es­cape, the de­fen­dant had put him­self in a trust re­la­tion­ship over her, and it showed plan­ning.

It was also noted that this was not the de­fen­dant’s first sex­ual as­sault con­vic­tion ei­ther.

SEN­TENC­ING from A1

In 1980, the de­fen­dant forcibly ver­i­fied whether a wo­man was men­stru­at­ing af­ter she gave it as a rea­son for not hav­ing sex with him. he also has a long crim­i­nal record go­ing back far­ther than that.

The de­fence re­futed those points, say­ing the fact of the mat­ter was the vic­tim had run out on her part­ner to be with the de­fen­dant, so it wasn’t a po­si­tion of trust he had over her. horn also said be­cause the last con­vic­tion was 37 years ago, it wasn’t a rea­son to pre­dict fu­ture be­hav­iour.

be­sides, said horn, his client has been born-again since that time and is a whole new per­son, with mo­ti­va­tions that can only truly be un­der­stood by other born-again Chris­tians.

The Crown asked for a sen­tence of four years in a pen­i­ten­tiary for the sex­ual as­sault and 12 to 18 months to be served con­cur­rently for ut­ter­ing threats.

The de­fence wanted to ask for a con­di­tional sen­tence, but since that op­tion is not avail­able for th­ese charges, it asked for two years in fed­eral prison, where coun­cil feels he would be able to get pa­role more quickly. ahale@postmedia.com twitter.com/Alan_S_Hale

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