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Sentencing soon in violent assault case

The sentencing for a man accused of a violent sexual assault on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve finally got underway in a Penticton courtroom on Tuesday.

Judge Meg Shaw heard submissions from crown counsel John Swanson and defence lawyer Micah Rankin in the Brian Douglas Louie case.

Louie, 35,  was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and assault causing bodily harm, stemming from an incident that took place in May of 2012, at the end of his December 2012 trial.

In his submissions, Swanson said on the morning of May 20, Louie and the victim were at a friend's home, where he bit her during sex, severing an artery and causing her to bleed profusely. 

The victim was in extreme pain, but he did not attempt to assist. Instead, he got up and punched and kicked her, causing more serious injuries.

He then grabbed her and dragged her down the stairs and fled the scene.

As well as suffering from a mutilated genital area, the victim suffered extensive bruising to her face and head.

Furthermore, she suffers from psychological injuries, experiencing nightmares and fears there will be retaliation against her and her children when he gets out.

Throughout, said Swanson, Louie has not taken responsibility for his actions and continues to blame others.

He claims it was an accident caused by an unusually sharp tooth, said Swanson.

The aggravating factors also far outweigh the mitigating, according to crown counsel.  

Among the latter are, Louie has never been sentenced to federal incarceration, although he has a criminal record, and his aboriginal status with Gladue applying in this case.

Swanson said, however, the Gladue, which takes into account circumstances facing aboriginal peoples, should be minimalized because of the severity of this case.

For aggravating, he said, the victim was in an extremely intimate and vulnerable position, which the accused exploited to inflict life threatening injuries.

Both assaults have had a profound impact on the victim's sense of self worth and will have an impact on her relationships for years to come.

Swanson subsequently suggested a sentence of eight years on count one and two years on count two, to be served consecutively. From that would be deducted credit for pre-sentencing custody of 19 months.

The accused would also be placed on the sex offender registry for life and be prohibited from possessing firearms for life.

Rankin stated his client does recognize what he did wrong and has taken steps to rehabilitate himself.

Louie, now 35, was born and raised in Osoyoos. His parents separated when he was 5, and for a time his mother, who had severe drinking problems, was in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic.

By the time he was 14, he was abusing alcohol and also had problems with drugs to a lesser degree during his teen years.

He now currently has a strong support system and is serious about getting treatment for his drug and alcohol problems. Down the road he hopes to pursue a career in plumbing.

In a statement read by Rankin in court, Louie said, "I take full responsibility for my actions and apologize to the courts for dragging this on for so long. I want to make it clear I am a changed person, asking for  forgiveness and another chance."

Gladue also needs to come into play, Rankin stated. Furthermore he asked for more time to be granted for time in custody, because his client is considered to be a rapist and is kept in protective custody.

He suggested a sentence of two and a half to three and a half years plus one and a half days credit for each day served.

The victim, who left the courtroom in tears on one occasion, declined to comment.

Shaw reserved sentencing, saying this was an extremely important decision.

It was put over to the JCM on Dec. 16 to set a date for sentencing.


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