A man received a four-year sentence in Penticton’s courthouse Monday afternoon for a string of sexual assaults on his two stepdaughters, aged nine and 12. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Sex assaults on stepdaughters gets four years

Assaults on the girls, 9 and 12, spanned over months from summer to November last year

**Warning: This article contains content that may not be suitable or comfortable for some readers.

A Penticton man will spend the next four years in prison for molesting his then-common law spouse’s children for months in the latter half of 2016.

The man, who cannot be named due to a publication ban on any information that might identify the young victims, had pleaded guilty in February after he was arrested on Nov. 21 last year over a string of sexual assaults on his stepdaughters, aged 12 and nine at the time.

The four-year sentence came at the high end of the sentencing range proposed by lawyers in a hearing in early November. Crown sought four years, while defence was seeking two for the crimes.

Related: Two to four years in prison expected for sex assaults on stepdaughters

In summer 2016, the man began groping two girls, with whom he had been living, along with his common law spouse at the time, for about five years, and whom he had known for about 12 years. At the sentencing Judge Michelle Daneliuk said the incidents started with the man grabbing the older girl’s thigh and progressed to fondling her breasts, digital penetration of her vagina and later felatio.

“The exact number of incidents was a bit uncertain in the statement of (the older daughter), but it was clear that these events occurred on multiple occasions.”

However, according to the girl’s statement, felatio occurred between two and four times.

Her younger sister was not spared from persistent sexual touching and harassment from their stepfather, who repeatedly climbed into bed with her, touched her vaginal area and attempting to get her to touch his penis.

She resisted his advances, but the sexual assaults were so frequent she resorted to setting up a booby trap in her room that would shoot a Nerf gun at intruders.

In sentencing, Daneliuk pointed to the major effect the assaults had on the girls and their mother, who had to move to another town to stay with family after losing income from the man.

Both girls said in victim impact statements they have struggled with trust issues, nightmares and mental health since the assault, while the mother lamented a strained relationship with her daughters.

The young age of the victims and the man’s relationship with them in a position of trust are automatically considered aggravating factors in sentencing.

Daneliuk also noted extraordinary remorse from the man since the assaults came to light.

After he was arrested, the man was reportedly co-operative with the investigation, confessing immediately, and he also entered an early guilty plea.

An early guilty plea on its own is considered a mitigating factor in sentencing as a common test of remorse, but Daneliuk pointed to the man’s remorseful behaviour beyond his interactions with the legal system as noteworthy on its own.

The man has reportedly struggled with suicidal thoughts and mental health since the incident, and has attempted to get help through therapy, but has not found proper therapy as of yet.

“Counsel for (the man) commented that in the 30 years he has been practicing criminal defence, he has never seen a client contrite as (the man),” Daneliuk said.

“(The man) took full responsibility for his actions, and appeared as though he understood the effect on his victims, not only those on the children but also on the mother.”

Daneliuk handed the man 30 months for one count of sex assault and 18 months for another count, adding up to a total of four years in a federal prison.

Because he has been convicted of two assaults, even if committed simultaneously, he will be on the sex offender registry for life, rather than 20 years.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘There are angels out there’ – Okanagan Falls resident reunited with those who saved his life

Heroic efforts of both neighbours and first responders kept Steven St. Germain alive on August 25

Penticton shelter meeting current need, accepting donations of blankets, clothing

The shelter offers 30 beds year-round and 25 more temporarily over the winter

Okanagan Similkameen could have a sister city in the south of France

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen considering agreement with wine region in southern France

Nature Wise: Thoughts in parting

Bob Handfield passes Nature Wise column on

Bob Ross is coming to Penticton in 2020

32 of the late painter and TV celebrity’s works will be on display at the Penticton Art Gallery

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Healing with honesty: Justice served 40 years later

Revelstoke senior gets house arrest for sexually assaulting stepdaughter

WorkSafe BC to investigate explosion at Princeton facility

Explosion at Envirogreen waste reclamation plant occurred Nov. 27

Doors open to Vernon’s first refill store

Vernon’s Refill Store may be answer to plastics problem

Okanagan RCMP not toying around when it comes to impaired drivers

Saturday, Dec. 7 is National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Crown delves into Sagmoen’s history with North Okanagan sex workers

Decision on validity of police search warrant will be made on Monday, Dec. 9

Most Read