An Oliver man has served his time behind bars after being found guilty of unlawful confinement of a teenage female.
At the Penticton courthouse on Tuesday, Judge Meg Shaw decided that the 248 days Shaun Aaron Stelkia has been behind bars while awaiting his trial where he was found guilty of unlawful confinement and four breaches of probation was a sufficient penalty. She sentenced the 27-year-old to eight months for the unlawful confinement charge concurrent with four months on the breach charges.
On July 23, 2011, Stelkia had consumed alcohol and drugs with the 17-year-old female passenger in his truck. He drove past the campground she asked to be dropped off at, taking her to a remote lookout up Anarchist Mountain. RCMP received a call from the girl who said she escaped from Stelkia’s vehicle.
During their investigation Mounties were informed Stelkia had a handgun and told people he was “going to wait for the cops.” About 20 officers from the emergency response team arrived at Indian Grove Riding Stables where Stelkia worked and was believed to be living. After four hours, RCMP found Stelkia passed out on the property and he was arrested.
The female provided a victim impact statement to the court stating she now has difficulty trusting men and was afraid for her life that day, unsure if she was going to return home.
During submissions, Crown counsel Catherine Crockett said Stelkia had pled guilty to his breaches which included consuming alcohol and being in the company of two females under 19.
“He has a problem with these 16 to 17-year-old girls. He has a pattern here and the pattern needs to stop,” said Crockett.
Defence counsel David Silverman took exception to that statement and the insinuation that his client was engaging in inappropriate behaviour with teenage girls and acting in a predatory fashion.
“His behaviour is less sinister than my friend suggests. It is not the case that he is seeking out these vulnerable females,” said Silverman. “Certainly Mr. Stelkia needs to stay away from young females, but it is not the case where he is grooming the young person and seeking them out to look for weaknesses he can exploit in the future.”
Stelkia was supposed to be sentenced in mid-November but would not make his appearance in court via video from the jail. He refused to leave his room because he claimed to be injured. Silverman said during submissions that Stelkia suffered a knee injury years ago and then injured it recently. He said his client has undergone several operations and the oxycontin pain medication given to him at that time led to addiction and poor choices.
Stelkia told the court he has remained drug free even from prescription medication and realizes that drugs and alcohol led him to jail.
“I express my deepest apologies and wish I could tell her what I did was truly wrong. I am sorry,” said Stelkia. “It was not my intentions to scare her and I did not realize my actions were scaring her. I was high on drugs.”
Stelkia will be on probation for 18 months and is subject to conditions including not to consume alcohol or drugs, not to go to an establishment where the primary commodity sold is liquor, a firearms prohibition for two years and not to be in the presence of any females under 19 years old unless in the company of an adult approved by his probation officer, or his immediate family including siblings, nieces and first cousins.