A Yellowknife man has been sentence to 90 days of intermittent jail time after pleading guilty to a sex offence involving his 15 year-old niece.
The intermittent sentence means he will be serving his time on weekends effective immediately.
Territorial court judge Robert Gorin himself called the sentence lenient, considering the heinousness nature of the crime, but said the intermittent sentence means it will take longer to complete it.
“He will be reminded every weekend when he reports for custody that he is being punished and why he is being punished,” said Gorin.
Yellowknifer cannot name the offender due to his family relationship with the victim whose identity is protected by a publication ban.
A crime months in the making
In September of 2018, the victim went the RCMP with a statement detailing the nature of the crime and extent of abuse.
Police were told the offender had called his niece after an Easter party “sounding intoxicated” and began asking her questions of an explicit sexual nature.
The victim said this made her uncomfortable, especially when her uncle asked to video chat with her, which she ultimately refused to do for fear that he would expose himself.
For several months the perpetrator tried to contact the victim repeatedly over the phone which she ignored.
In September the victim was babysitting when her uncle insisted he needed to come over and see her.
Thinking it was important, the victim invited him over.
When he arrived the man began to hug and kiss her and grab her buttocks.
The victim pushed him away but he went to kiss her again before she broke free.
Following the incident, the victim suffered panic attacks which ultimately lead her to seek counselling with a mental health worker which lead to her complaint to the RCMP.
Gorin said the crime was very serious for a number of reasons and was months in the making.
“You abused a position of trust and leveraged your relationship to manipulate her,” said Gorin.
“There was also a period of what I would call grooming prior to the touching itself. You affected her mental health.”
In addition to the 90 days in jail, which is the mandatory minimum sentence for sexually touching someone under the age of 16, he will also spend 12 months on parole.
Defence lawyer Stephanie Whitecloud-Brass told the court the perpetrator is a hard-working man, often putting in 70 hours a week at his job and has expressed great shame and embarrassment over his actions.
The court heard it was stress from his job that lead him to excessively drink alcohol, which lead to the crime.
The offender, who immigrated to Canada a few years ago, has never been charged here before and the court heard he regularly sends $1,000 to his parents in their home country who cannot support themselves.
Gorin said, considering his situation, it would not bode well for his future to lose his job.
The man is forbidden from being in a position of power or speaking with anyone under the age of 16 for five years and will be a registered sex offender for 10 years and must also submit a DNA sample.