Man sentenced 13 years for trying to kill Niagara family of girl he sexually abused

A man was sentenced for attempting to murder the father and grandmother of a girl he molested years ago. He tracked down the Niagara family to Smithville and beat them close to death with a baseball bat.

WARNING: This story contains details that readers may find disturbing

A few days before Christmas, the man forced family members into the basement with a fake gun. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

A man will serve almost 13 years in prison for attempting to kill the family members of a girl he sexually abused years before. 

In December of 2018, just days before Christmas, Alexander Bates bound the girl's father and grandmother with zip ties in their basement home and beat them with an aluminum baseball bat. 

Bates, 47, attempted to escape by hopping a backyard fence, but police found and shot him, leaving him paraplegic. 

The Crown wanted a sentence of 15 years, but the judge said his paraplegic state would make jail "harder on him" and ordered a lesser sentence. 

On Monday, Bates was sentenced to 13 years on two counts of attempted murder. Due to time in custody, he will serve 12 years, two months, and three weeks in prison. 

In their victim impact statements, the family described their trauma. 

"Never before have I felt such horrifying terror," said the girl's grandmother, who added that she now has "ongoing nightmares." 

The girl's father said "I was left for dead. These night terrors haunt me now in my sleep." Since then, the father said he has suffered from an aneurysm, which doctors say was due to head trauma from the attack. 

The attack happened a few days before Christmas 

When the father had been injured in a serious motorcycle accident in 2012, Bates offered to take care of his daughter while he recovered in hospital. A search of the daughter's phone had revealed that Bates had been sexually assaulting her. 

The girl was 14 at the time. 

Bates pled guilty to charges of sexual interference and criminal harassment — the second charge was for putting tracking devices on the family's cars during his trial. 

The family made a midnight move from Niagara to Smithville out of fear Bates would try and find the daughter. 

The attack has left her with immense guilt. "I can't help but blame myself, it was me he was after," she said. "I can't think, I can't breathe, I can't sleep, I can't eat."

In February 2018, Bates was released on parole. A few days before Christmas that same year, he packed a rented pick-up truck with several items — including zip ties, wire cutters, a folding knife, and a notepad with the address and phone number of the family — before driving to their new home. 

On December 21, Bates cut the valve stems on the tires of cars in the family's driveway. When the father came out to fix the cars, Bates approached him with a fake gun, and forced him into the basement. 

Bates bound his wrists, ankles, and eventually his neck. During the time he kept the man in the basement, he gestured wildly with the fake gun, asked for the daughter's wherabouts, and texted the father's common-law-spouse from his cell phone to trick her to come home. 

When the woman came by with her mother they brought a bat into the basement with them, convinced that Bates was down there. The woman was able to escape and call 911, but Bates bound the grandmother and the father then beat them both before he ran away and was intercepted by police. 

Bates apologized to the family in court, but the judge stated that he "did not see obvious signs of empathy." 

He has been ordered not to contact the victims or their family members and is bound by a prohibition order for life. 

The Crown also wanted to restrict his ability to apply for parole, but the judge said this was "best left to the expertise of the parole board down the road."