Canada

Ewanchuk sentenced to one year for sex assault

The Edmonton man at the centre of the "no means no" case, Steve Ewanchuk, has been sentenced to one year in jail for sexual assault more than six years after he was first convicted of the crime.

Ewanchuk was convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl he had invited to his trailer for a job interview in 1994.

Ewanchuk was first acquitted in November 1995, when the judge accepted his defence of mistaken belief that the victim had consented to his advances.

He was again found not guilty by the Alberta Court of Appeal in February 1998. In upholding the acquittal, Appeal Court Justice John McClung said Ewanchuk's repeated fondling of the victim was ``far less criminal than hormonal'' and noted the victim ``did not present herself in a bonnet and crinolines''.

The case was referred to the Supreme Court, which ruled last year that no such mistaken-belief defence existed and that no really means no when it is a response to sexual advances.

In his written comments on Friday, Justice John Moore wrote that Ewanchuk would have been given a conditional sentence but since he is recognizable, the general public wouldn't accept that.

Ewanchuk was taken into custody following the sentencing hearing.

Ewanchuk's lawyer, Brian Beresh, believes his client may be able to apply for parole after six months.