Jail time for Labrador businessman convicted of sexual assault
Warwick Pike's lawyer asked for house arrest, but judge said that was insufficient
A well-known businessman in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is headed to jail.
Warwick Pike, 78, was sentenced Thursday to six months behind bars and two years' probation.
Pike was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference, all relating to offences against the same complainant, dating back to 1996.
The Crown asked for a sentence of six to eight months, while Pike's lawyer asked for four to six months' house arrest.
Justice Frances Knickle said house arrest would be insufficient in this case because there was a high level of trust between Pike and his victim.
The "very high breach of trust is a strongly aggravating factor," Knickle said.
Assaults took place in moving vehicles
During the trial in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, the complainant testified Pike touched her between the legs while she was driving a snowmobile, and later as she was learning to drive in his SUV.
She said Pike later apologized for the incident in the SUV and implored her to keep quiet about it, saying that speaking up would only hurt people she cared about.
Knickle acknowledged that while the offences were "on the minor end of the spectrum," Pike showed "a disconcerting lack of judgment," since both he and the victim were passengers of moving vehicles at the time of the offences.
His actions could have caused both of them to be seriously injured, the judge said.
Knickle also acknowledged 30 letters of support for Pike from friends, family, and business associates. She said it's clear Pike, who has no prior convictions, had a good reputation. But she added that it came at the expense of his victim's silence for nearly two decades.
Pike was escorted out of Supreme Court by sheriff's officers. He has been ordered to to submit a DNA sample and will be listed on the sex offenders registry for life.