Nova Scotia

Matthew Percy sentenced to 5 years for aggravated sexual assault

A former groundskeeper at Saint Mary’s University has been sentenced to five years in prison for an aggravated sexual assault against a 19-year-old university student. With credit for the time he’s already spent in jail, Matthew Percy faces another two years, seven months in prison.

WARNING: Some of the content in the story may be disturbing

Former Saint Mary's University groundskeeper Matthew Percy was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

A former groundskeeper at Saint Mary's University has been sentenced to five years in prison for an aggravated sexual assault against a 19-year-old university student. With credit for the time he's already spent in jail, Matthew Percy faces another two years, seven months in prison.

In addition to the prison term, Percy's name goes on the national sex offender registry and his DNA is being added to a national data bank.

Percy assaulted the woman in December 2014. She went to police right away and was subjected to an invasive sexual assault examination. But charges were not laid immediately. In fact, police did not revisit this offence until after Percy was accused by another young woman.

A total of four women have accused Percy of sexual assault. He was acquitted in one case and convicted in another. He still faces a fourth trial.

Because this offence pre-dates the other one for which he was convicted, he was considered a first-time offender.

Protection of the public

Justice Joshua Arnold described Percy's behaviour in this case as predatory in nature because he took advantage of a highly intoxicated young woman. During sentencing arguments earlier this month, the victim described how the attack has left her traumatized.

The judge said protection of the public had to be a key consideration in this sentence.

The psychologist who did a sex offender risk assessment on Percy said he has paraphilia that can only be properly treated in a federal prison.

Dr. Angela Connors said Percy could only get pleasure from exerting control over his victims and he preyed on young women he identified as being vulnerable because of their intoxication.

In passing sentence, Justice Arnold said Halifax is home to many university students and they have a right to feel safe from sexual predators.

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