A Moncton man has been sentenced to time served — 14 months in jail — for sexual offences involving nine girls.
Bharat Kumar Gadher, 61, is a first-time offender, Moncton provincial court judge Denise LeBlanc was told.
Earlier this month, Gadher pleaded guilty to sexually touching a person under the age of 16 in Moncton between April 2014 and September 2015.
He also pleaded guilty to communicating with eight girls under the age of 18 for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from them on Dec. 5, 2014.
The court was told Gadher contacted girls through internet sites.
Crown prosecutor Karen Lee said Gadher saw some of the girls once, and some of them regularly.
Gave gifts, cash
Lee said Gadher paid the girls between $40 and $200 and provided them with phones, trips, clothes, alcohol and cigarettes.
She said the girls would come to his residence and he would serve them alcohol.
Lee told the court that he would take the girls to the bedroom where some would undress completely.
He would kiss them and ask them to grind on top of him.
She said the girls would get the gifts first and the money afterward.
He also took girls to a concert in Halifax, where he rented them hotel rooms.
Lee said Gadher thought he was following the letter of the law by not having sexual intercourse.
The court heard one of the girls was 15.
Lee told the court that it was a difficult case because many of the victims did not want to testify.
They also did not submit victim impact statements.
She told the court a trial would have been difficult because the girls were "reluctant witnesses."
There is a publication ban on any information that would identify the victims.
Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux told the court Gadher lost a successful IT business and has heart problems.
He told the court Gadher was stabbed and robbed by a friend of one of the victims, which is how the police investigation into this case began.
Lemieux said Gadher is taking responsibility, is now "practically destitute," and is extremely remorseful.
Moral compass adjusted
Gadher told the court he agreed with the facts laid out by the court and he has adjusted his moral compass.
The judge said the offences were grave involving "vulnerable victims in vulnerable circumstances."
She told the court she would have imposed a longer sentence if it was not for the complications outlined by the Crown and defence.
Gadher was sentenced to 20 months for each of the offences, to be served concurrently, which works out to the time he has already served.
Gadher will also have to comply with a number of conditions, including providing a DNA sample, staying away from parks, daycares and schools where young people may be.
He is not allowed to be employed or volunteer in a position of trust anywhere he would come into contact with anyone under the age of 16.
He's also not allowed to have contact with any of the victims and can not use technology to communicate with anyone under the age of 16.
Gadher will also have to pay a $400 victim service surcharge and is prohibited from possessing a firearm for 10 years.
LeBlanc told Gadher she realizes he is a first time offender but hopes he won't be seen before the court again.
Gadher said he promises to contribute to society and help others.