A Central Saanich man who sexually abused his 17-year-old stepdaughter last year has been sentenced to nine months in jail followed by two years of probation.
The 46-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the teenager, pleaded guilty to sexually touching a young person when he was in a position of trust or authority in the summer of 2020.
As he imposed sentence Friday, provincial court Judge Mayland McKimm called the accused’s actions vile and a betrayal of the trust of all parents.
“Nine months in custody is a fit and proper sentence to announce to the community that we will not tolerate this behaviour and we will impose harsh sentences to those who prey on their children, even in ways that could be described as physically less invasive,” said McKimm.
The man had been married to the victim’s mother for several years and was stepfather to her four children, whom he professed to love.
He knew that his wife had fled from an abusive husband and was well aware his stepchildren had been violated by their father. He knew they were vulnerable to further acts of violence and sexual predation as a result of that traumatic experience, said McKimm.
Last year, he entered the girl’s bedroom while she was asleep, pulled back her bedding and touched her on the buttock. When she awoke, he made an excuse that he was looking for something. Some months later, he secretly fed her alcohol. When she fell asleep, he put his hands down her shirt and touched her breasts.
She woke up and told her sister. Together, they told their mother, who immediately asked the man to leave.
The man now lives in his van, said McKimm, who praised the mother for supporting her daughter even thought it meant the breakup of her marriage and loss of financial support.
McKimm noted that the man suffered a childhood filled with violence and neglect. He was beaten physically and psychologically by an abusive, alcoholic father. He learned about sex from porn his father gave him. He was forced to touch his own mother.
He left home at an early age and never returned. He has an education and he has steady, stable employment.
“His victim, on the other hand, has suffered enormous and catastrophic consequences of his offending behaviour,” said McKimm, adding that he was profoundly moved by her victim impact statement.
The judge found it significantly aggravating that not only was the young girl vulnerable because she depended on her stepfather for support, but she was a previously harmed child who required his complete support, not further violation.
Denunciation is the paramount principle of sentencing, said McKimm. The sentence must also deter others from committing similar offences, he said.
Although the man suffered greatly as a child, he has never come to grips with what happened to him and needs counselling to prevent future offences, said McKimm.
“He has harmed the victim gravely. He has harmed society gravely by undermining the gift that all parents have to raise their children who are the future of our society,” he said.
McKimm found the man’s remorse, early guilty plea and continued financial support for the victim’s family to be mitigating factors at sentencing.
During his jail sentence, he must have no contact with the victim.
During his probation, the man must take psychiatric counselling. He must not possess or access pornography by any electronic means, and must have no alcohol or drugs.