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Former soldier sentenced for sex assault on stepdaughter

A former soldier accused of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter was sentenced on Friday to three and a half years in prison, less 11 months credit for time served in pre-trial custody.

The 39-year-old man, whose name is withheld to protect the victim’s identity, was convicted in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 8 of a single count of sexual touching.

Justice Keith Yamauchi said during sentencing on Friday that while he was satisfied that an assault on the late evening of Aug. 24, 2011, did take place, there was not enough evidence to satisfy him beyond a reasonable doubt concerning additional allegations.

Even though there was no evidence of actual intercourse, the act was a major sexual assault, said Crown prosecutor Robin Snider.

She asked for a four-year sentence, with credit at par for the 11 months the man served in remand from his arrest in 2011 until his release after a preliminary hearing in July of 2012.

Snider asked Yamauchi to consider that the girl had been assaulted in her own bed, where she should have been safe. She also asked Yamauchi to look at the act as planned and deliberate, because the stepfather waited until everyone was asleep before entering the girl’s bedroom.

In addition to the prison sentence, she asked that he provide a sample of his DNA and that he be placed on the National Sex Offenders Registry for a period of 20 years. She said she would not seek a weapons restriction because, while sexual assault is an act of violence, there were no weapons or threats involved in any of the allegations against the man.

Defence counsel Kevin Sproule argued that the offence should be considered a crime of opportunity rather than a planned act, stating that if there was any planning, it was not sophisticated.

Sproule asked that the man be given a day and a half of credit for each day he served in remand, noting that he lost his family, his house and his job while he was in jail.

He then suggested that the man be sentenced to 16.5 months, satisfied by time served, with a period of probation to follow.

Yamauchi said the sentence must reflect society’s condemnation of the assault on the stepdaughter, who was in her early teens.

In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to submit his DNA sample, he is prohibited from unsupervised contact with children for 10 years after his release, and his name has been placed on the National Sex Offenders Registry for 20 years.

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