ns-si-potvin_220x124_1

Luc Potvin arrives at court Monday. (CBC)

The sentencing hearing for a Dartmouth, N.S, volleyball coach convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage student began Wednesday.

Luc Potvin pleaded guilty in July to four sex charges involving a 17-year-old girl.

The teenager gave a victim impact statement in court. In a clear but shaky voice, she described how Potvin's assault on her has destroyed her world. 

"I felt I was losing control of everything in my whole life," she said.

She described how Potvin, 53, destroyed her confidence, caused depression and brought on an eating disorder. 

She is only now starting to rebuild her life, but said there will be lasting consequences from time lost in school and continuing health issues.

Potvin a low to moderate risk of reoffending

Much of Wednesday was taken up by the Crown's cross-examination of defence psychologist Brad Kelln. 

He rated Potvin as a low to moderate risk to reoffend. He said Potvin has an elevated libido and he put himself in a risky situation by coaching girls in volleyball. But he said Potvin should not find himself in such a position again now that he is a convicted sex offender.

"I think that we have in place in amateur sports conditions around not having anyone who has this type of offence being involved, because the risk is just not something that can be accepted," Kelln said.

"So that's the answer for that question — it just shouldn't happen."

The Crown is asking for a sentence of three to five years. 

"It will be my submission that common sense puts him on a scale to reoffend that most people would say well, fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, shame on us," said Crown attorney Rick Hartlen.

In 1999, Potvin was convicted of a sexual assault on a girl. He received a pardon for that offence and that file was sealed until Wednesday.

In the current case, Potvin entered a guilty plea on one count of luring a child over the internet for a sexual purpose. He also pleaded guilty to a count of sexual exploitation of a young person by a position of trust or authority, making child pornography, and sexual assault.

Potvin's guilty plea means he will definitely spend time in prison, but it will be up to the courts to decide how long. The sexual assault charge alone carries a minimum penalty of 45 days in prison, up to a maximum of 10 years.

The sentencing hearing will resume later this month.