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A man was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail after pleading guilty to one count of incest in September.
The 49-year-old man, who cannot be identified due to a routine publication ban protecting the identity of the victim, was sentenced to an additional six months over the five-year mandatory minimum in Penticton Supreme Court on Dec. 7 for performing sexual acts with his daughter, who was 14 years old at the time of the offence.
The man’s estranged daughter came back into his life in early 2012 and by July of 2012 the two were living in the same residence. By September 2012 the man had engaged in sexual contact with his daughter, initiating with sexual touching and progressing to intercourse by October 2012. The man would engage in sexual acts with his daughter four to five times per week until December 2012, when the victim had reportedly attempted suicide.
Psychological reports stated that the man had a lack of insight into the offence, with the man saying that the victim initiated much of the initial affection.
Crown counsel Mallory Treddenick, who suggested a sentence of five to seven years in jail, argued that the man engaged in victim blaming in the report.
Defence counsel James Pennington argued that his client was stating in the psychological report that the victim initially engaged in non-sexual, innocent affection, not relating to the incestuous acts.
“It’s unfortunate it seems to be the vogue these days that if you mention anything about the victim, you’re automatically victim blaming,” Pennington said.
“He described feeling awkward, not knowing what to do,” said Treddenick, reading from the psychological report.
“It’s my submission that comment is engaging in victim blaming, putting it on her, that she blurred those lines,” Treddenick said.
“Clearly he crossed a line, he knows that,” Pennington said.
Prior to being sentenced the man spoke to the court, stating “I love my daughter with all my heart.”
“She is the most important person to me and I failed her and I hurt her,” the man said.
“My hope is that my sentencing is to her satisfaction and will give her peace of mind so she may move forward in life easier,” the man continued. “All I’ve ever wanted is for (my daughter) to be safe and well and happy. To love and be loved.”
“I hope she can forgive me … for her own sake.”
“We are satisfied with the outcome. Now is the time for (the family) to continue on the road to recovery,” said Wendy Berglund, secretary for the Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse, relaying a message from the family of the victim.
The man was ordered to be listed under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for 20 years, was given a 10-year firearms prohibition and for five years after his release will be prohibited from public parks, swimming areas, school grounds or anywhere it is reasonably expected people under the age of 16 will attend. He will also not be able to work or volunteer where he is in a position of trust or authority of anyone under the age of 16.