Former CBSA agent handed 6 years for raping and extorting Halifax student facing deportation
Carie Dexter Willis, 58, also convicted earlier this year of extortion and breach of trust
A former Canada Border Services agent has been sentenced to six years in prison for raping and extorting a Halifax university student from Nigeria who was about to be kicked out of Canada.
Carie Dexter Willis, 58, was supposed to be handling the woman's deportation in 2003. Instead, he offered to bury her file in exchange for sex, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge said Thursday.
"He deliberately and repeatedly abused his authority," Justice Suzanne Hood said as she sentenced Willis in a Halifax courtroom. She described his conduct as "egregious" and said it must be denounced.
Hood convicted Willis earlier this year of sexual assault, extortion and breach of trust following a trial. The crimes were committed 15 years ago, but a complaint was made to Halifax police only in 2014.
In summarizing the evidence Thursday, the judge said the woman, whose identity is banned from publication, came to Canada from Nigeria to study at Dalhousie University.
She quit university, thereby losing her student status. She applied for refugee status and was denied. It was then that the deportation process began.
In order to discuss the case, she asked Willis to meet her at her apartment rather than her place of employment, Hood said, to avoid jeopardizing her job.
When the woman said she wanted to stay in Canada, testimony showed that Willis responded, "Show me how much you want that." They then had sex.
Later, Willis told the woman, "Looks like you'll be staying in Canada for a long time."
The court heard that from that first encounter, Willis would visit the woman one or two times a week and they would have sex every time.
Breach of trust
Outside court, Willis's lawyer, Thomas Singleton, said the six-year sentence was about what he'd expected for his client.
"The Crown tried to suggest it was something that was unique and so on," Singleton said. "I didn't think it was. It's not much different from breach of trust by a father, a teacher or anybody else who has responsibility for a child."
The Crown had been asking for a lengthier sentence. But outside court, Crown prosecutor Cheryl Schurman said she was satisfied with the outcome.
"His job was to deport her to Nigeria, and as I argued in my sentencing submissions the place where someone lives is something most dear to them and holding that power over someone's head is quite significant," Schurman said.
Schurman refused to say whether the woman has been deported or if she remains in Canada.
Willis has continued to profess his innocence and is working on an appeal.
In addition to the prison term, Willis faces a weapons ban and a sample of his DNA will be placed in a national databank. His name is also being added to the national sex offender registry.