Child molester gets 2 years

A Summerland man has been sentenced to two years in prison for molesting a child on two separate occasions.

Justice Allan Betton handed down the sentence Thursday in Penticton court, after ordering a publication ban on the accused’s name to protect the identity of the victim, who was under the age of 10 at the time of the sexual assaults.

The accused's relationship with the victim is also being withheld, but he was in a position of deep trust.

The victim told her parents in Feb. 2015 after the accused lured her into his bed where he pulled down his pants and had her touch his penis. He then laid on top of her and touched her.

She also reported a previous incident, that occurred in the summer of 2014, where the man brought the child into his bed while he was naked and performed oral sex acts.

Throughout the trial earlier this year, and during Thursday’s sentencing hearing, the accused maintained his innocence.

“He suggested that [the victim] may be angry... or has some other self serving reason for making the allegations,” Betton told the courtroom.

The victim has been undergoing counselling since the incidents.

"The impact on the victim is impossible to assess... and that will likely come to be known in the years to come," the judge said.

The lack of remorse and refusal to accept responsibility makes him far harder to treat while in custody, argued Crown prosecutor Nashina Devji.

The accused is a functioning alcoholic with three DUIs and has experienced seizures when he tried to stop drinking, she said, requesting a sentence in the three to 3.5 year range.

He had no previous related criminal convictions. 

Defence lawyer Don Skogstad said that a two year sentence would be more appropriate. He noted that his client is “small and frail,” and would be safer in a federal penitentiary in the Fraser Valley, given the nature of his convictions.

Justice Betton said the two year sentence is in line with similar previous cases.

Upon release, the accused will be banned from attending public parks or areas frequented by children and be denied any contact with anyone under 16 without court permission for 10 years.

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