A Behchoko man has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail after being found guilty of twice sexually assaulting his young daughter.Territorial court judge Bernadette Schmaltz criticized the man during sentencing April 21, saying his daughter was a much more believable witness during a one-day trial in March.
“I don’t believe his evidence,” Schmaltz told the court.
“It was fabricated and self-serving in context with her evidence which was compelling and did not seem contrived. I believe it was her father that did this to her.”
A publication ban has been placed on any evidence that could identify the victim, including the offender’s name.
The victim currently lives in Alberta with her mother, court heard.
Crown prosecutor Brendan Green said she came forward with her complaint in January 2016 after learning about sexual assault in school. The man was charged in May.
The victim, who is now 17, testified the first incident occurred in the early 2000s when she was a toddler inside a Behchoko residence while she was in her father’s care.
The second incident happened in 2009 when she was nine years old. She testified her father had pulled over to the side of the highway while he was driving her to Behchoko from Yellowknife.
She testified her father touched her genitals and made her touch his genitals. She said when that happened, she just looked out the window and cried.
The man was separated from his wife, the victim’s mother, at the time of both offences, court heard.
Schmaltz did not hold back, scolding the man repeatedly before passing sentence.
“This was hard to imagine. You had a duty to protect your daughter. You harmed her and you hurt her. She was very vulnerable, very young and in your care,” Schmaltz told the man.
“Your moral culpability could not have been higher. This abuse is having serious and lasting effects on her. She speaks of being ashamed and dirty.
“It is very sad that she feels this way over something that was not her fault.”
The man was immediately taken into custody. He did not serve any time in jail prior to sentencing.