Autis­tic girl ‘per­fect vic­tim’ for preda­tor

Truro Daily News - - PROVINCE - BY STEVE BRUCE SALTWIRE NET­WORK

A 14-year-old girl who was sex­u­ally abused by her mother’s boyfriend suf­fers from se­vere autism and is un­able to speak.

“In (his) eyes, she was the per­fect vic­tim,” Crown at­tor­ney Bran­don Trask said after the Tim­ber­lea man’s sen­tenc­ing. “She wouldn’t be able to tell any­body what she was go­ing through.”

Mo­lest­ing the girl wasn’t enough for the 35-year-old man. He also posted porno­graphic pho­tos of the abuse on a for­eign web­site, where they were seen by On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice of­fi­cers, who alerted mem­bers of the Halifax Re­gional Po­lice-RCMP in­ter­net child ex­ploita­tion unit in March.

Po­lice ex­e­cuted search warrants two days later at a pair of Tim­ber­lea ad­dresses, ar­rested the man and charged him with a va­ri­ety of of­fences.

De­nied bail, he pleaded guilty in June to five charges – sex­ual as­sault, sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of a per­son with a dis­abil­ity, mak­ing child pornog­ra­phy, dis­tribut­ing child pornog­ra­phy and un­safe stor­age of firearms.

He was sen­tenced re­cently in Halifax pro­vin­cial court by Judge Pa­trick Cur­ran, who im­posed a prison term of seven years.

The judge de­ducted 231 days from the sen­tence as credit for the man’s re­mand time, leav­ing him with a net term of six years and 134 days. The man’s name is banned from pub­li­ca­tion to pro­tect the iden­tity of the vic­tim.

“The of­fences that we’re deal­ing with to­day in­volve the abuse and degradation of a teenage girl suf­fer­ing from sig­nif­i­cant dis­abil­i­ties,” the judge said.

“As bad as of­fences like this are, imag­ine how much worse it would be to a child who could not ex­press what was hap­pen­ing to her ... and could not ex­press to any­one just what it was that she was en­dur­ing . ... That’s a se­verely ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tor in my opin­ion.”

Cur­ran de­cided on a sen­tence of four years for the sex­ual as­sault charge, two years con­cur­rent for the sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, one year con­sec­u­tive for mak­ing child pornog­ra­phy, two years con­sec­u­tive for dis­tribut­ing the ma­te­rial and one month con­cur­rent for the weapons charge.

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