Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Man receives 4 year prison sentence for sexually abusing stepdaughter

A Winnipeg teen says she no longer believes in God after her stepfather subjected her to repeated sexual abuse.
“If he existed, he would have done something to save me,” the girl wrote in a victim impact statement.
The girl’s 44-year-old stepfather was convicted after a trial in December of one count of sexual interference and sentenced Thursday to four years in prison. Justice Lea Duval stayed an additional count of sexual assault.

The girl testified her stepfather began molesting her when she was 11 years old. The abuse continued for approximately 18 months and graduated to sexual intercourse.
The man was arrested after the girl reported the abuse to her school guidance counsellor.
The man continues to deny abusing his stepdaughter, “has no empathy for the (victim) and has expressed no remorse,” according to a pre-sentence report.
The man has maintained a relationship with the girl’s mother while the girl lives in foster care, separated from friends and family.
The girl’s mother “indicated that despite being supportive of her daughter, she finds it difficult to believe the charges,” Duval noted in a written decision.
Duval rejected a defence request that the man serve a conditional sentence in the community.

A Winnipeg man has been sentenced to four years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing his young stepdaughter.
The 44-year-old -- who can't be named to protect the identity of the 11-year-old victim -- had been seeking a conditional sentence that would have allowed him to remain free in the community. The Crown was asking for up to six years behind bars.
The abuse began with fondling but eventually progressed to sexual intercourse, which happened on several occasions during a 12- to 18-month period, court was told. It ended when the victim told friends, and then her school guidance counsellor, about what was happening.
The man fought the allegations at trial and has continued to deny any wrongdoing despite being convicted. He has been deemed a medium risk to reoffend.
"There are no exceptional circumstances in respect of the case at bar which would justify imposing a conditional sentence," Queen's Bench Justice Lea Duval said in a written decision released Thursday.
The stepdaughter, who is now a teenager, filed a victim impact statement in which she discussed the ongoing emotional and psychological trauma she is suffering. The girl said she no longer trusts any adult men and was "terrified" to have to testify in court. She no longer believes in God, saying if he existed "he would have done something to save me." She said she "could have been a different person" had she not been abused.
Her stepfather's name will now be placed on the national sex offender database. He has also been ordered to have no contact with any children under the age of 16 for a 10-year period following his release.

The only info both these articles are missing, is about the offender's past background, childhood, was he himself sexually abused? and any mitigating factors. 

From the information from the article, I would have suggested a 2.5 year prison sentence, as I feel 4 years is too harsh. The man has no prior record (the article did not state that he had one, so I am assuming he doesn't). The aggravating factors in this case include the fact that he is denying any wrongdoing, which is common among sex offenders, has no empathy for the victim and no remorse. I would suggest that he be evaluated by a psychiatrist for psychopathy personality disorder or any other mental disorders, as he exhibits some of the symptoms. 

In prison, I would make it mandatory for him to see a psychologist, to possibly uncover the underlying issues behind his criminal behaviour, such as childhood abuse, which is very common among sex offenders and for him to receive counseling. It would also be beneficial for him to participate in sex offender programs in prison so he can learn the impact of abuse on victims, and learn to address the factors that contribute to the abuse and learn to manage them effectively. Also, if he receives parole or statutory release, I would also make in mandatory that he continue sex offender treatment in the community.    

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