Appeal judges find no error with Northern Peninsula man’s conviction or sentence
CORNER BROOK, N.L. – A Northern Peninsula man convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl over a period of four years has had his appeal of that conviction and the six-year sentence he received dismissed.
The man cannot be identified due to a publication ban put in place by the provincial court in Corner Brook to protect the identity of his victim. He was convicted in provincial court in April 2017 and sentenced in May 2017.
He later filed his appeal and sought bail pending the outcome of his appeal. However, bail was denied in December 2017.
The man was convicted on two counts of sexual interference, one count of sexual exploitation, four counts of sexual assault, and one breach of probation. He was acquitted on one count of sexual exploitation.
The incidents that led to his conviction spanned a time period from 2012 to 2016 and occurred at three different locations — the family cabin, the family home and a camper trailer.
The girl was between the ages of 11 and 16 when the incidents occurred. An incident at a camper trailer on June 5, 2016 led to the man being charged.
During his trial, the court heard the man entered the camper while the girl was sleeping and sexually assaulted her. He was seen by two witnesses sitting on the bed the girl was sleeping in with his pants down around his ankles. In his appeal, the man submitted that the trial judge erred in applying the law relating to circumstantial evidence, in unevenly scrutinizing the evidence, in failing to apply the law by shifting the burden of proof to the man, in misapprehending evidence and in imposing an unfit sentence.
A panel of three judges with the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal heard the appeal on March 6 and rendered its decision on June 5. They concluded that the trial judge did not err in his analysis or conclusion regarding the convictions or the six-year sentence.
The panel noted it would allow the appeal in relation to February 2015 offences by reducing the sentence for those offences from three years to one year. However, as that sentence is to be served concurrently with the sentences for the other offences, the panel said it would affirm the overall six-year sentence that was imposed.