(Advocate file photo.)

Sentencing hearing for Saskatchewan man who abducted, sexually assaulted girl

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — An eight-year-old girl who was abducted and sexually assaulted last July from a playground was left to make to her way out of dense forest near Prince Albert, Sask., with a bag of snacks, a root beer and a knife.

These details came out in court Wednesday during sentencing arguments for Jared Charles, who has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault.

Court heard Charles, who is 20, snatched the girl after a relative stepped away from her briefly to get some water.

The Crown is seeking a jail sentence of nine years, noting Charles has a history of fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit disorder and a history of approaching younger children.

The defence has asked for five years, saying Charles had a very difficult childhood and lived in numerous foster homes throughout his youth.

Provincial court Judge Hugh Harradence is to hand down his decision on Aug. 1.

The abduction of the girl sparked a province-wide Amber Alert.

Court heard that Charles took the girl to an abandoned home in a remote area of a forest where he sexually assaulted her for about three hours before letting her go.

She walked for about seven kilometres before finding her way to a house where the owners called police.

Charles was arrested on July 4, 2017, at a restaurant.

When questioned by police that evening, he admitted to the abduction, saying he took the girl because she was small and weak.

“I’m not sorry for what I did,” he told police. “I abducted her knowing I’d get caught.” (CKBI)

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