This was a sentencing hearing for an accused who pleaded guilty to touching a person under the age of 14 for a sexual purpose, possession of child pornography, and inciting a person under the age of 14 to commit bestiality.
The accused was in possession of videos documenting about 30 incidents of sexual conduct by the accused of his niece at the ages of three to five, while entrusted to his care. The videos show the accused, inter alia, licking her genitals and luring dogs to lick her genitals. The girl is shown trying to stop the accused and running away. Furthermore, the accused was in possession of other pornographic imagery depicting children and bestiality.
The court considered as aggravating factors the victim’s age and the accused’s position of trust. It also noted that the accused’s offences were progressing in severity and frequency, and that he even denied certain events despite there being footage of them.
In mitigation, the court accounted for the accused’s plea of guilty, sparing the young girl from testifying. It also considered the accused’s own history as a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of family members, as well as his aboriginal heritage.
The court accepted that denunciation, general deterrence, and separation from society should primarily inform sentencing. Given the accused’s risk of recidivism and the seriousness of the offences, the court found it appropriate to sentence him to 69 months, globally, including 15 months consecutive for the incitement of bestiality involving a young victim. It also issued two 20-year orders, one requiring the accused to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and another prohibiting him from being in the area of or working with persons under the age of 14.
Notably, the judge felt that the threshold for sentencing for offences involving the sexual touching of a young person and child pornography were too low. Still, she felt bound by precedent to impose the abovementioned sentence.
Sentence: 69 months incarceration (global sentence; 15 months consecutive for incitement of bestiality).