Sentence due Friday
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. firstname.lastname@example.org twitter.com/Alan_S_Hale