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Protest over lenient sentence

More than 200 people rallied Saturday, demanding a provincial court judge be stripped of his duties in North Vancouver after he sentenced a teenage boy to just two weeks in prison for a violent sexual assault.

The teen, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and forcible confinement for an attack that occurred in a bathroom stall of Encore Dance Club during an all-ages party in February 2016.

The victim was found in the bathroom with such severe injuries she was admitted to hospital in critical condition.

The attacker was also convicted of sexually assaulting a different girl a few months prior.

Judge Paul Meyers sentenced the attacker to two weeks in prison and allowed him to serve the rest of his three-year sentence in the community.

"I've been grounded for longer than two weeks for things that don't break the law," protestor Hannah Dixon told CTV Vancouver. “For somebody that violates somebody’s civil rights and takes away their sense of personal safety and gets two weeks in prison for that, that’s absolutely ridiculous.”

“We refuse to have our own Brock Turner. We as a community will not protect rapists; we will not defend them and we will believe survivors,” said Yalda Kazemi, the rally’s organizer.

According to the North Shore News, Judge Meyers found the teen already faced social ramifications for the crime — being shunned by the community and not being able to graduate with his peers.

“I was disappointed in those remarks when you consider the impact on the survivor and what she has to live with for the rest of her life,” said Jane Thornwhwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour.

It is unclear if prosecutors plan to appeal the decision.

—with files from CTV Vancouver 



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