Thursday, July 15, 2010
Gang member sentenced to 10 years for assault
Other option of dangerous offender label
A street gangster with a long history of violence agreed to be sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison rather than face the prospect of being designated a dangerous offender.
Indian Posse member Marcel Charlette, 38, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm in connection with a January 24 incident that left the 19-year-old female victim suffering a broken jaw.
If Charlette had been labelled a dangerous offender he could have been held in custody until justice officials deemed it safe to release him.
Crown attorney Cindy Sholdice told court he meets all the criteria of a dangerous offender.
Weaknesses in the Crown’s case resulted in a plea bargain that saw the Crown stay a charge of sex assault cause bodily harm. Charlette pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault causing bodily harm and agreed to the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Charlette and another man were arrested after a woman told police she had been raped at a Selkirk Avenue rooming house. The victim said she was walking home from a bar on Main Street when she was jumped and dragged to a Selkirk address.
“At the residence, she said there was a camera and (Charlette) had a folding knife and told her to smile for pictures and if she didn’t he would stab her,” Sholdice said.
When the second man left the suite to have a shower, Charlette pulled off the victim’s shirt, beat her and raped her, she told police. She said she escaped after Charlette passed out beside her.
When arrested, Charlette admitted assaulting the woman but said she came to his suite willingly and that the sex was consensual.
Police reviewed a security tape of a Main Street hotel that showed the victim and her aunt socializing with the two men and leaving the hotel at the same time, Sholdice said.
Investigators sought out the victim’s aunt weeks later but by that time she had committed suicide, Sholdice said.
In 1990, Charlette was sentenced to six years in prison for killing a two-year-old boy. He was 17 at the time but sentenced as an adult. Charlette was later convicted of assaulting the boy’s grandmother a day before the killing and sentenced to six months.
Charlette was on statutory release when he beat a woman and left her lying unconscious in the snow. The woman was found with her pants unzipped and pulled down. She refused a sexual assault examination.
Charlette was convicted in 1996 of aggravated assault and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.
I would like to know more about this man's background, defence lawyer statements and more about the situational circumstances surrounding his previous crimes. This article is biased as it fails to mention any of these things. 10 years is far too harsh for assault, in my opinion.