Crown's appeal of pedophile's sentence dismissed
The Saskatchewan Court of appeal has ruled that a Saskatoon judge did not commit any errors in applying the law when he declined to impose an indefinite prison sentence on a sex offender with a long history of abusing children under his care — including his own daughters.
“Sam” — his name can’t be published in order to protect the identities of his victims — pleaded guilty in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench to eight sexual and child pornography-related offences against his daughters, who were 10 and 11 years old when the abuse began.
The judge declared him a dangerous offender and sentenced him to 11 years and three months in prison — reduced to eight years with credit for time already spent in custody — followed by a 10-year long-term supervision order.
The 51-year-old’s history of sex offences against children reaches back almost three decades, the appeal court judges noted in their Dec. 5 written decision.
These daughters were the victims of his third round of crimes, which lasted for three years, starting in January 2012, when he was 44. The abuse included Sam taking photos of his daughters while sexually assaulting them. Child pornography was also found on his computer.
Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe, a forensic psychiatrist who examined Sam after the Crown applied to have him declared a dangerous offender found that although he accepted legal responsibility, “this was juxtaposed with self-deception about his moral and psychological responsibility for them,” the judges noted.
“He placed partial blame for his offending on his victims.”
Lohrasbe said it cannot be assumed that further treatment will reduce Sam’s risk of reoffending, but also offered a “more optimistic scenario” in which his risk could become manageable in the community, the judges wrote.
Because Sam is only known to have targeted children in his care or who were family members, it’s “likely that a concrete and coherent risk-management strategy could readily be put in place on (his) reintegration into the community,” according to the psychiatrist.
“If he is open, disclosive, and cooperative with those who carry the responsibility of supervising him in the community, it is feasible that the risk he poses can be managed in the community.”
In its appeal, the Crown argued there was no evidence to support anything but an indefinite prison sentence, given the intractable nature of Sam’s pedophilia. However, based on previous case law, “evidence of intractability does not, of necessity, mandate an indeterminate sentence,” the appeal court ruled.
“It was obviously not lost on the sentencing judge that by the time his sentence was completed, (Sam) would be nearly 70 years old. On the basis of this evidence, the sentencing judge was entitled to focus on the services and supervision available to (Sam) during the (long-term supervision order).
“In short, there was evidence the risk posed by (him) to the community would, as a result of aging and with the right structure and monitoring, be reduced to the point where it was manageable.”
Published: December 12, 2018
- Posted By: Lori Coolican
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