ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE — A Sunchild man was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday for abducting a five-year-old girl and repeatedly sexually assaulting her over a 16-hour period in August 2010.
Provincial court Judge John Holmes sentenced Louis Joseph Tyrone Sunchild, 28, to a sentence of 16 years after he had earlier pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual interference of a child, breaking into a home and two counts of breaching probation.
Sunchild was credited with 11 months for time served in custody, so his actual sentence will be 15 years and one month.
Holmes called the actions of Sunchild as “disturbing and abhorrent.”
Around midnight on Aug. 14, 2010, Sunchild broke into a home on the Rocky-area First Nations reserve where the girl, now six, was sleeping. A youth babysitter had left the home briefly so Sunchild was able to grab her.
Holmes described how the girl suffered a terrifying ordeal over the next 16 hours.
“The accused swam with her across the river while intoxicated,” said Holmes. “This young child was forcibly taken at night and blindfolded.”
He had unprotected sex with her repeatedly.
“No doubt she would have been terrorized.”
The girl suffered serious psychological and emotional consequences that could impact her for the rest of her life, Holmes said.
RCMP launched an intensive search for the girl but at first she could not be found. A local resident discovered her mid-afternoon on Aug. 14 about 100 metres from her home.
While Holmes passed sentence, Sunchild, a tall, stocky man, hung his head low while seated in the prisoner’s box. He clasped his cuffed hands out in front while family members of the victim watched quietly in the small, crowded courtroom.
Sunchild had pleaded guilty after the Crown had strong DNA evidence implicating him, Holmes said.
Holmes noted that Sunchild’s criminal record involved violence, break-ins and numerous breaches of court orders. But he had no record of sexual offences.
Sunchild told a psychiatrist that he had been sexually abused as a child.
He also had a long history of substance abuse and may have “mild mental retardation,” Holmes said.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is suspected, Holmes said.
Sunchild was sentenced to 10 years each for kidnapping and breaking into a house, to be served at the same time. He was also sentenced to six years for sexual interference. Sunchild was also sentenced to one year concurrent for two counts of breach of probation.
Sunchild was also ordered to provide DNA samples while in custody. He was also given a lifetime ban for firearms.
When he is released, Sunchild will not be allowed to be in a place where children under 16 are present and cannot be in a position of trust with children.
— copyright Red Deer Advocate