Nova Scotia

Lowther sentenced to 6.5 years for sexual assault

A former soccer coach who pleaded guilty in June to sexually assaulting a girl for six years was sentenced to six and a half years in prison Monday.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

A former soccer coach who pleaded guilty in June to sexually assaulting a girl for six years was sentenced to six and a half years in prison Monday.

The sentencing of Stan Lowther, a father of four and a former soccer coach, was originally set for September but was postponed.

Stan Lowther, a former youth soccer coach, admitted to abusing a girl for six years, starting when she was 12. (CBC)

The 39-year-old admitted to abusing a girl for six years, starting when she was 12.

She cannot be identified.

The victim, now 19, said in a victim impact statement read Jan. 16 that Lowther took advantage of her religious upbringing by telling her God wanted her to give him oral sex to prevent the spread of a skin problem.

She told the court there were "hundred of rapes" including being forced to perform oral and anal sex.

The victim said it's not over for her yet.

"I have nightmares about what Stan did to me," read her victim impact statement. "I view beds as a place of extreme pain."

"When I look in a mirror, I see Stan behind me, hurting me."

Lowther's apology 'hollow', says Crown

Justice Arthur Leblanc said Lowther initially explained his actions by saying the abuse began because the victim was a temptress. She was 12-years-old when the assaults began.

Leblanc found the excuse to be "beyond disturbing."

"I remind you, sir, you were in your 30s," said Leblanc. "It was horribly wrong and at no time did you apologize to her."

"You took seven years of that woman's life," said Leblanc. "You took away her right to be a little girl."

During the sentencing, Lowther was in tears as he apologized to the court. He tried to face the victim but the Crown requested that he not.

"I can't come up with the words. Sorry's not enough," said Lowther.

"I'm sorry that I've taken so much."

His legs were shaking as he spoke. He took long pauses and cried throughout.

The victim looked down, offering no reaction. Other people in the courtroom wiped away tears.

Lowther apologized to the community and the soccer club. The case is not connected to his time as a soccer coach.

"I can't give you back anything. I wish I could," he said. "I've hurt so many people. I'm sorry for it all but I can't take it back."

The Crown called Lowther's apology "hollow." 

The Crown was seeking a prison term of between four and eight years.

Last December, after he was charged, Lowther resigned from coaching boys' soccer at the Halifax Christian Academy and Halifax County United.

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