Former Dalhousie student to serve 29 months for sexually assaulting classmate

Chris Davidson, 21, was found guilty of sexual assault and unlawful confinement in February. He was sentenced Tuesday to 29 months in prison.

Chris Davidson found guilty of sexual assault and unlawful confinement

Chris Davidson, 21, was found guilty of sexual assault and unlawful confinement in February. He was sentenced Tuesday to 29 months in prison. (CBC)

A 21-year-old Alberta man convicted of sexually assaulting a classmate at Dalhousie University in Halifax after a night of heavy drinking has been sentenced to 29 months in prison.

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury found Chris Davidson guilty of sexual assault and unlawful confinement in February, and Justice Glen McDougall sentenced him Tuesday.

Court heard that the two met in September 2015, but their relationship dissolved 72 hours later when Davidson sexually assaulted the young woman, then 17, in her dorm room.

The Calgary man told police he had no memory of what happened that night, saying he had consumed six or seven vodka shots and blacked out.

Outside court Tuesday, defence lawyer William Leahey said the case is an example of what can happen when young people are away from home for the first time and are inexperienced with alcohol.

"This set of facts … should be driven home to every student," Leahey said. "They need to know the impact of booze when they're young and have little or no experience."

The lawyer said parents typically do a good job of teaching their children good moral values while encouraging them to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

"But there's a vulnerability that develops," he said. "That vulnerability is lack of experience with alcohol.… You can look at this case and you could see how this could happen to anyone's child."

The woman read from a victim impact statement Monday, telling the court she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has attempted suicide twice in the past year.

She said she has nightmares about the assault and suffers from depression, anorexia, insomnia, self-mutilation and emotional flashbacks.