Man guilty of sexual interference with minor

A 19-year-old Stettler man was sentenced to three and a half months for sexual interference involving a person under age 14 at Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday.

A 19-year-old Stettler man was sentenced to three and a half months for sexual interference involving a person under age 14 at Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday.

The charge against Timothy Anthony Ralph, 19, of Stettler, stems from an incident on Sept. 23, 2009, at a Stettler residence.

Judge John Holmes sentenced Ralph to three months, with time already served, and 12 months of probation.

Holmes ordered that his name appear on the sexual offender registry for 10 years and he submit a sample of his DNA within 24 hours.

Holmes ordered Ralph to have no contact with anyone under age 16. Ralph must not be near any public park or daycare area where children under age 16 are present or volunteer with those under the age of 16.

Ralph was age 18 at the time of the incident and had sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. There is a court imposed ban on publication of the girl’s name.

Defence attorney Arnold Piragoff said the girl told his client that she was 16 years old and he believed her. He said a risk assessment on his client places Ralph at a low to moderate level of reoffending and he has no other criminal history. Ralph was already in custody for between 54 to 56 days and allowing for a two-for-one credit that would count as 104 to 108 days. Ralph’s custody occurred at a time when double credit for time served before or during a court case was still allowed.

Crown prosecutor Tony Bell explained that a belief in consent was not a defence in this case.

Judge John Holmes said because the girl was not sufficiently mature, consent was not a mitigating factor.

Holmes said some of the aggravating factors in the case were that Ralph doesn’t seem to have a lot of insight into his own responsibility. Holmes said the girl was drinking at the time.

But Holmes said some of the mitigating factors were that the act wasn’t a planned, and there was “no psychological or emotional harm to the girl.”

Holmes said Ralph is at a low risk of reoffending according to a risk assessment and his guilty plea saved the necessity of having a trial.

Ralph now works in Red Deer. As part of his probation, he must attend counselling or treatments recommended by his probation officer. He must refrain from alcohol and illicit drugs.

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