By Jeremy Appel
Southern Alberta Newspapers
A man who pled guilty to sexually assaulting his ex-wife in front of one of their teenage children has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.
The man, who cannot be identified to protect the anonymity of the victim, was also sentenced to one year probation, a five-year weapons prohibition, counseling for domestic violence and alcoholism, as well as a no contact order that prohibits him from going within two blocks of the complainant’s Bow Island home.
Defence lawyer Brian Shantz requested an exception to the no contact order for child visitation, but the Crown argued the children don’t want to have contact with their father.
Judge Fisher sided with the Crown on this aspect.
“There probably isn’t a judge in this district that will force a 14 or 15 year old” to see their father who admitted to a sex crime against their mother, said the judge.
According to the agreed statement of facts, on April 26, 2017, the victim went with her 15-year-old son to Medicine Hat to shop at Walmart.
She took her son afterwards to visit his father at a local hotel.
The father, who was visibly intoxicated, asked the complainant why they had broken up before touching her inappropriately over her clothes.
Shantz cited the accused’s lack of a prior criminal record and current treatment for alcoholism as mitigating factors pointing in favour of an intermittent sentence.
According to the Crown, the victim impact statement, which was not read aloud in court, notes the accused hasn’t been paying child support to the victim.
“The request for intermittency catches me by surprise,” said the Crown prosecutor.
In this respect, the judge sided with the defence.
Fisher also agreed with Shantz’s assertion that given his client’s alcoholism, an order for “full abstention would be setting him up for failure.”
As a result, the accused is prohibited from consuming alcohol “in excess.”
The accused will serve his intermittent sentence at the Medicine Hat Remand Centre and must register as a sex offender.