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Six months for sex assault

A man wracked with guilt showed up at the RCMP detachment demanding to confess that he'd sexually touched his stepdaughter — 18 years earlier — a court in Kelowna has heard.

He has now been handed a six-month conditional sentence and a year's probation for sexual interference of a person under 14.

"These facts show (the offender) had very serious problems with his conscience," B.C. Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop said Tuesday as she delivered her sentence.

The girl's name is protected by a publication ban, which also prevents naming her stepfather in order to protect her identity.

Crown lawyer Chris Balison said the man, now 43, first confessed about sexually touching his 11-year-old stepdaughter to his then-wife in about 1995.

She reported it to police but, on the advice of a lawyer, the stepfather was told not to speak to police. The investigation stalled and no charges resulted.

But in the early-morning hours of May 10 last year, the distraught stepfather went to Mounties in Kamloops.

"He insisted he may commit suicide if he couldn't get it off his chest," Balison said.

After speaking with a lawyer, the man told police he would sneak into his stepdaughter's room and touch her chest. He would also masturbate at her bedside while she slept.

RCMP were concerned the man was underplaying the extent of his crime, but his estranged family confirmed the facts.

Under the law of the day, a conditional sentence is available for the offence. Now, it would require a jail sentence.

Despite the admission, Balison called the man an untreated sex offender who needs counselling.

Under terms of the ruling, he will not be permitted to be alone around children during his sentence or probation. He will also be added to the federal sex offender registry for 20 years.

Defence lawyer Matt Ford said his client, a former soldier, was sexually abused as a child by his father in the United Kingdom. 

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