North

Whati man gets 2 years for sexual assault of young girl

A Whati man has been sentenced to two years in jail for failing to take reasonable steps to determine the age of a young girl he had sex with. In sentencing Cory Ross Nitsiza on Tuesday, the judge accepted much of his account of what happened leading up to the sexual assault.

Failed to take resonable steps to determine age of 13-year-old

A Whati man was sentenced to two years in jail for having sex with a minor. With credit for the time Cory Nitsiza has already served, he has nine months left on his sentence. After he's released he will be on probation for three years. (Pat Kane/CBC)

A Whati, N.W.T., man has been sentenced to two years in jail for failing to take reasonable steps to determine the age of a young girl he had sex with.

In sentencing Cory Ross Nitsiza on Tuesday, the Supreme Court judge accepted much of his account of what happened leading up to the sexual assault.

Two young girls stopped to talk to Nitsiza as he was sitting on his porch one morning at 4 a.m. At the time he was 27. One of the girls was 16. The other was 13.

During his trial, Nitsiza testified the younger girl told him she was 16. He said he asked her if she had had sex before and said she told him she had.

The girl testified that Nitsiza dragged her to his bedroom by the wrist and forced himself on her despite her calls for him to stop. She said he did not ask her age. Nitsiza testified that, at some point during the encounter, he became concerned about the age difference between him and the girl and stopped.

Third trial for Nitsiza

Crown prosecutor Trevor Johnson called for a sentence of three years in prison, saying that a background report on Nitsiza prepared for the sentencing "highlights a conspicuous lack of remorse."

Before being sentenced, Nitsiza made a tearful apology to the court. He also said, "Ever since I got charged it's been hard to talk to women because I don't trust them. He said he asked to see identification from his 24-year-old girlfriend, and has been struggling with homelessness while staying in Yellowknife.

Nitsiza's lawyer, Jay Bran, said a sentence of 16-18 months is appropriate. "My client has gone through the stress and uncertainty of having to deal with this for many years now," said Bran, alluding to three times Nitsiza has been tried on the same charge. The first two trials ended with hung juries.

Bran pointed out that Nitsiza told police right after his arrest that he had had sex with the girl. He said, because she did not file a victim impact statement it is difficult for the court to say what harm the assault caused her.

With credit for the time he's already served, Nitsiza has about nine months left on his sentence. After that he will be on probation for three years. During that time he is to have no contact with the victim.