Former Alberta MLA Don MacIntyre told his child victim God approved the sexual abuse
Wife stands by MacIntyre but UCP condemns former MLA as 'disgusting' individual
When Don MacIntyre was molesting his child victim, he justified it by telling her that God had approved the abuse, according to an agreed statement of facts read aloud at the former United Conservative Party MLA's guilty plea on Friday.
MacIntyre, the former MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual interference. A charge of sexual assault has been withdrawn.
After the 63-year-old was escorted off to prison by sheriffs, his victim spoke outside the Red Deer courthouse, telling reporters she is "very happy" with the outcome.
"I don't have to be afraid anymore," said the young woman. "I would have liked more [jail time] of course, but that's just because of how long I felt sad."
The victim said that after suffering in silence for so long, she felt relieved to finally be able to tell her story.
"He has been so public for so long that I think it is important for what I have to say to be public as well."
'God was OK with the touching'
The offence dates are between 2010 and 2011 and involve a female child under the age of 14. A publication ban protects any information that could identify MacIntyre's victim.
MacIntyre sexually touched his victim five to 10 times over a one-year period beginning in 2010.
"He told her that God said that God was OK with the touching," reads the agreed statement of facts.
He told the child he had prayed to God about it.
In 2015, the girl told her mother about the abuse. When confronted, MacIntyre immediately confessed but said the sexual abuse was "part of Satan's plan to destroy the child's faith."
He then wrote apology letters to his victim.
According to the court document, the girl became suicidal.
'His face was everywhere'
'One dark period'
McKay called his client "a very decent man" who had "one dark period."
"This is a man that in so many ways has been punished already," said McKay, arguing MacIntyre has already "lost pretty much everything" and has been subjected to intense, national media coverage.
'Odious crime,' says UCP
MacIntyre's wife has stood by him, McKay noted. She even provided a character reference letter of support.
When given the chance to speak, MacIntyre apologized to his victim and wished her a "life that is whole and happy and healthy."
He said that when his sentence is over and he returns home, "the powerful love my wife Maggie and I share shall see us through."
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