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Penticton  

Pedophile facing 2 years jail

An Osoyoos man faces up to two years in prison after admitting to molesting an 11-year-old boy in 2016.

Shawn Berry Titus, 36, appeared in Penticton court Monday after pleading guilty to one count of sexual assault and two counts of breaching bail conditions.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys said police began investigating Titus at the request of the boy’s elementary school principal in Oct. 2016. Titus had been hanging around school with the boy and the teacher heard that “sleepovers” had taken place.

Investigators found that Titus met the victim at a local rec centre through another youth, and they all began playing basketball together. The victim’s mother reported that her son was missing curfew frequently and was asking for Titus to attend parent-teacher conferences.

Interviews with the victim eventually disclosed that Titus had “mutually masturbated” with the boy at least 10 times in the span of a few months.

In Feb. 2017 Titus admitted, in tears, to his boss at a fast food restaurant that he had molested the boy. Vandersluys said Titus told the manager “he disclosed to his mother that he’d been struggling with having these attractions to young boys.”

When Titus was arrested a few days later, he also admitted to oral sex with the 11 year old.

“It appears Mr. Titus is not acknowledging his behaviour, either he can’t or he won’t. He is beyond minimizing, and engaging in significant victim blaming,” Vandersluys said, explaining Titus has repeatedly claimed the victim initiated the sexual contact.

A psychiatric assessment diagnosed Titus with a pedophillic disorder, and noted he has a “long way to go” to addressing his “sexual proclivities,” Vandersluys said.

He, however, said that the accused had attempted to seek out psychiatric help before the crime occurred, but failed.

Titus also breached his bail twice in a significant manner, leading to his arrest again in June. He was caught making inappropriate comments to a group of 16 to 18-year-old girls at a public pool, which he was banned from under his bail conditions.

He was also caught drinking in a park — where he was also barred from — with a group of adults.

Defence lawyer James Pennington explained his client was sexually and violently abused as a child. He was raised as a strict Jehovah's Witness, but was excommunicated from the church for a pre-marital sexual relationship with a woman.

“Having been brought up in a home and a belief system, where the church is ultimate. Where you can always rely on the church for support, and you take a fragile individual like Mr. Titus, and then the support system that you really look forward to is suddenly not there. As a matter of fact, it's kicking you down the street.”

He referred to his client as a “troubled individual” who needs help psychiatric help managing his pedophillia.

“He’s wrestling with these demons that he’s got,” Pennington said. “He wants help, and he said that much to the police.”

“Uhm uhm,” Titus affirmed via video conference.

“If he was trying to hide this, he would not have gone into the detail that he did with,” the confession, Pennington added.

Vandersluys admitted the Crown would have faced a “significant hurdle” achieving a conviction without the confession.

The Crown sought a two year prison term, followed by three years of probation and a 10-year order banning him from parks and places frequented by children. The bail breaches should be served with credit for time already served, 75 days, Vandersluys said.

Pennington countered with a 12 month proposal with two years of probation.

Judge Michelle Daneliuk reserved her judgement for a later date.



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