A Whitehorse man convicted of sexually assaulting a friend who shared his bed after an all-night party will not go to jail.

Judge Dennis Schmidt said Thursday Ashton Rosenthal, 26, is "neither a predator nor a violent offender" and gave him a suspended sentence and two years probation.

Crown lawyers had asked for a jail sentence of 14 to 18 months.

Rosenthal and a DJ buddy partied late into the night with a female friend. By 4 a.m. they were all exhausted, and Rosenthal agreed the woman could share his bed. She awoke later to find him assaulting her. 

In his verdict, Schmidt ruled the agreement to share a bed in no way constituted consent for sex. Otherwise, he wrote, "No two-man tent would ever be safe again."

But Schmidt also scolded prosecutors for trying too hard to paint Rosenthal as a villain. In sentencing, he acknowledged a childhood brain injury to Rosenthal and likened it to FASD

Rosenthal maintained his innocence throughout the trial and prosecutors said the apology he later offered was hollow and self-serving.

Schmidt said he accepted the apology as genuine, and ruled Rosenthal poses little danger of re-offending. Schmidt said the guilty verdict is enough to send a message that women's rights must be respected.

Lawyers suggest an appeal is likely.