R v BTJN, 2021 BCPC 44

An Indigenous offender pleaded guilty to sexual touching of a minor. This occurred over a three year period that began when the victim was seven years of age. Despite Gladue factors of the offender, the young Indigenous girl has experienced horrible life altering effects from the violations. A conditional sentence is not adequate, thereby he is sentenced to six months in custody followed by a 24 month probation order.

Indigenous Law Centre – CaseWatch Blog

BTJN, a 28 year old Indigenous man, has pleaded guilty to touching for a sexual purpose, the body of his stepdaughter, contrary to s 151 of the Criminal Code. The victim is also Indigenous, which is an aggravating factor because of her vulnerability. These violations occurred from the young age of seven. She is now 12 years old. The offender also has three young children, in which he is the biological father.

The violations of his stepdaughter, has horribly impacted her life, as she feels isolated from her community in which her stepfather lives, her mother, although she believes her, and the victim no longer participates in the many extra-curricular activities that previously brought her joy. She has yet to access counselling at the date of this sentence.

Although BTJN has Gladue factors, is employable and has had some access to counselling in the pandemic, the emotional harm suffered by his stepdaughter continues to impact her significantly today, which cannot be minimized. Although a conditional sentence order may be appropriate in some circumstances for this type of offence, it is not adequate in this matter. The victim was very young, the offending occurred over a period of years, and the victim has been horribly impacted.

BTJN is sentenced to six months in custody followed by a 24 month probation order. The Court does not accede to the Crown’s request for a larger safety zone for the stepdaughter in the probation order, because a 200 kilometre ban would amount to banishment from BTJN’s home community. That would not be an appropriate outcome under this sentence as he will require support to succeed on this path of rehabilitation.

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