Teen’s pimp fears for his safety behind bars

Man who prostituted his step-daughter has received death threats while awaiting his sentencing hearing in Penticton

Death threats and security concerns have a Penticton man who was found guilty of sexual assaulting and pimping out his stepdaughter on high alert.

“There are security concerns at KRCC (Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre), as a result he is under 23-hour lockdown,” said defence counsel James Pennington. “Basically he had his life threatened.”

It is why the stepfather, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban to protect the teenage girl, asked his counsel to bring forward an application requesting to appear via video for his sentencing rather than be transferred from KRCC to Penticton.

In August, the stepfather was found guilty of 10 charges including three counts of sexual assault, two counts of living on the avails of prostitution and sexual exploitation.

“If he is going to be transported, there is no safeguard because he simply is placed in a holding room for who knows how many hours. There are some security concerns here (Penticton) that have to be addressed as well,” said Pennington.

Staff Sgt. Tracey Biro of the Penticton Sheriff’s Department spoke at the application hearing on Monday, stating he was told by officers at KRCC the stepfather had been unco-operative with them.

Biro stated the stepfather “has a huge issue with authority” and that there was a problem at the Penticton courthouse during the trial. Although it wasn’t made clear what the problem was in Penticton, it could be linked to an incident in the court lockup where the stepfather’s glasses were broken.

If the stepfather was going to appear in person for his sentencing, Biro said they would need more resources to deal with him. Biro ultimately requested the stepfather appear by video, but said they would have to deal with it if he does appear in person.

Crown counsel Wendy Kavanagh believes the stepfather should be physically in the courtroom for his sentencing as she expects it to be “quite lengthy.”

She told Judge Gregory Korturbash the stepfather should also be present because of the severity of his charges. Kavanagh suggested the sentencing could be moved to Kelowna where there is less concern of security within the courthouse.

Pennington also put forward an application that his client would be seeking extra credit for the time he has already spent behind bars awaiting trial and sentencing. Typically this has been given on a one-to-one basis ever since an amendment was made to the criminal code that eliminated a two-to-one ratio for pre-sentencing custody that effectively cut a sentence in half. Now an offender can only receive up to 1.5 to one credit, where circumstances are justified.

Korturbash said he would give his decision on whether or not the stepfather can appear by video for sentencing when he formally hears the third application from defence, which is asking for the stepfather’s Interior Health records. A second application was also brought to the court on Monday, with the defence asking for KRCC records in regards to the stepfather. The matter was put over, but no date has been set.