Nova Scotia

Sydney's Klutzy the Clown sentenced to 2 years for sexually assaulting girl

Dale Rancourt pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl and then violating his bail conditions. The Judge accepted a joint Crown and defence sentencing recommendation.

Dale Rancourt previously admitted to having sex with the 15-year-old victim

Children's entertainer Dale Rancourt, or Klutzy the Clown, said he plans to move to Ontario after serving his sexual assault sentence. (Yvonne LeBlanc Smith/CBC)

A children's entertainer in Sydney, N.S., has been sentenced to two years in a federal penitentiary for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

The sentence for Dale Rancourt — better known as Klutzy the Clown — is in addition to the seven months he's served since violating his bail conditions last November

Dale Rancourt previously pleaded guilty to sexual assault. (Facebook)

During sentencing Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Judge Patrick Murray said Rancourt, 51, used an emotionally vulnerable child for his own gratification.

Rancourt previously pleaded guilty to sexual assault involving the girl over a six-week period in 2016. Her name is protected under a publication ban.

Victim 'profoundly' affected

Speaking outside the courtroom, Crown attorney Peter Harrison told reporters the abuse "has affected [the girl] quite profoundly."

"She indicated in a victim impact statement that she has ongoing fear that Mr. Rancourt will contact her again," he said. "And she will likely be dealing with these matters for the rest of her life."

Crown attorneys Shane Russell and Peter Harrison speak to reporters following Rancourt's sentencing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. (Laura MacDonald/CBC)

Rancourt has been ordered not to have contact with the girl while he is incarcerated. Harrison said Rancourt will no longer be able to work as a children's entertainer.  

"He's also going to be subject to a two-year probation term where he will be supervised in the community and on top of that, a 20-year sex offender order where he will have to be monitored by the RCMP throughout Canada."

Rancourt's lawyer responds

Rancourt said the victim initiated the sexual contact but he does not blame her, said defence lawyer Tony Mosvik.

"He's [pleaded] guilty at an early stage," said Mosvik. "All along he has said that he is the guy responsible for this."

Rancourt's lawyer, Tony Mosvic, said this is a first offence and Rancourt received a positive pre-sentence report. (Laura MacDonald/CBC)

Harrison said the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the adult bears responsibility. 

"They are presumed under the law to be more mature and usually in positions of authority and, as such, they bear the responsibility, not the child," he said. 

Rancourt had no previous convictions and Murray accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence for a two-year sentence.