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Justice for victim

He was her supervisor and sexually abused her for months — repeatedly groping her and making sexual comments, all under the guise of joking around.

Now a 51-year-old Halifax man is going to jail — and the judge is praising the courage of the young woman, who couldn't get other managers to help her.

"The victim, in spite of an unsupportive business environment in terms of her sexual abuse complaint, came forward with her complaint. This was courageous," said Judge Marc Chisholm of Halifax provincial court.

Chisholm handed down an eight-month sentence, to be served on weekends.

The man pleaded guilty to two sex-assault charges, for incidents during the 2015 Christmas holidays.

His name, and that of the victim, are protected under a publication ban. The firm's name was redacted from the written ruling.

The young woman, who is in her mid-20s, is still suffering from his abuse, the judge said.

One of the incidents was caught on video — he was seen pulling her onto his lap, and putting his hand under her skirt. A few days later, he asked for a hug and fondled her breasts.

The judge noted the man often remarked on her appearance, and told her he'd like to have sex with her. One time, he tickled her until she dropped to the ground.

"On at least one occasion, he opened her blouse and looked down at her breasts," said Chisholm. "On every occasion (she) told the accused no or stop."

The judge also heard from another young female employee who described being hoisted over the man's shoulder, having to fight him off as he slid his hand up her skirt.

In an effort to get him to stop, the women noted there were cameras recording the scene, but he told them he controlled the recordings, the judge said.

Both women complained to a manager, the judge said, but "their complaints fell on deaf ears."

A written version of Chisholm's sentence, handed down Sept. 15, was released on Friday.

The judge said the victim in the sex-assault case has suffered psychologically. She felt alone and vulnerable, and told him she suffers from PTSD.



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