WINNIPEG — A man who admitted to repeatedly sexually abusing his own daughter on a Manitoba Hutterite colony will not be going to jail.
The 47-year-old man, who can’t be named due to a court-ordered publication ban, pleaded guilty this week to one count of sexual assault.
The charge stemmed from years of abuse of his now 17-year-old daughter.
The man was also charged with sexually assaulting his other daughter, but the Crown stayed those charges as a result of the guilty plea.
Provincial court Judge Brent Stewart reluctantly agreed to a joint recommendation that the man serve an 18-month conditional sentence instead of being locked up.
“The concern I have is the message that would be given to the general public and perhaps other colonies,” Stewart said.
“I don’t want the message to get out that this type of conduct — ever — is acceptable to our society or theirs.”
Crown prosecutor Shawn Sass told court he agreed to the recommendation largely because he expected the man’s daughters to be “unco-operative” in the case.
Jay Prober, the man’s lawyer, read a letter out in court from one of the daughters who said, “I love my dad and I forgave him a long time ago.”
Court heard the man sexually assaulted his daughter several times over at least two years.
“The victim advised that it happened on numerous occasions beginning when she was 12 and ending when she was 14,” Sass said.
Court heard the man was excommunicated from the Hutterite colony for nine months after his crimes came to light, and was shunned when he attempted to return. Neither the man nor the rest of his family live on the colony any longer.
Under the terms of his sentence, he may be allowed to live with his daughters, provided his supervisor deems it safe for the girls.
The man has had to stay away from them as a condition of his bail.