Judges dismisses Crown's appeal for longer sentence for pedophile
WARNING: This story contains content some readers may find disturbing.
A dangerous offender with a long history of sexual offences against children, including his own, has had his sentence of eight years' imprisonment upheld, after Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal dismissed the Crown's appeal for a longer sentence.
The Crown argued that the offender, dubbed S.P.C. in court documents, was a highly sexualized individual who was unable to control his urge to have sex with children. The Crown believed he needed lifelong supervision, which would only come with an indeterminate sentence.
Appeal judges released their written decision on Dec. 5 to uphold the sentencing judge's decision.
Nearly 30 year-history of abuse
S.P.C. was first convicted of sexual assault offences in 1989, abusing a boy and girl under his care as a babysitter. That was later followed by the abuse of his stepdaughter, a crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to five years.
S.P.C. was labelled a dangerous offender for crimes against his biological daughters, who were respectively 10 and 11 when he began sexually assaulting them. His crimes also included taking pictures of his abuse, and forcing at least one of the children to watch child pornography.
Doctor says risk can be managed
Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe did a psychiatric assessment of S.P.C., finding he was a pedophile with a preference for female children. He found S.P.C. had a personal dysfunction with some aspects of a narcissistic and anti-social personality.
Lohrasbe found S.P.C. was at a high risk for child pornography offenses and a high risk for offenses against children whom he could groom, exert power over and control.
But Lohrasbe also felt that there were three factors that would reduce S.P.C.'s risk to reoffend, starting with the fact that he is getting older, which is typically related to a lower frequency of offending. The doctor also cited the impact of going through the court process as a factor that could strengthen S.P.C.'s self-control.
The third most important factor was that S.P.C. had, in the past, targeted children in his care or children that were family members. Lohrasbe believed that even though S.P.C. would likely continue to be a high-risk offender, he didn't think the risk was unmanageable, with a follow-up of monitoring, supervision, treatment and victim safety planning.
While the Crown argued for a longer sentence, the appeal court judges stated the Crown was wrong to focus on S.P.C.'s continuing urges, instead of the question of risk and protecting the public. They wrote the Crown "cherry picks the evidence" from the doctor's report and testimony, instead of looking at how the doctor felt the risk from S.P.C.'s pedophilia could be managed, to protect the public.
The judges agreed with the sentencing judge's finding that S.P.C would benefit from programming while incarcerated. They also agreed that with the right supports after he is released, it's reasonable to expect the public, and young girls specifically, could be adequately protected.
They dismissed the Crown's appeal.