An aspiring doctor will not be saddled with a criminal record for his role in a series of sexually explicit "hazing" incidents at a prestigious Winnipeg private school.
The 21-year-old Winnipeg man – who can’t be named under a court-ordered publication ban -- was the last of four accused to plead guilty to his role in the 2009 attacks at St. John's-Ravenscourt School. The accused, who was 18 at the time, admitted to six charges of assault with a weapon.
Provincial court Associate Chief Judge Janice leMaistre rejected the Crown’s bid for a provincial jail sentence today. She agreed with the defence request for a conditional discharge, which will allow him to maintain a clean criminal record.
Defence lawyer Sheldon Pinx argued his client would have great difficulty pursuing a medical degree if he was given a record. The accused is now in university in Saskatchewan. As part of his discharge, he must perform 120 hours of community service work and write letters of apology to his victims.
Three other younger teens previously admitted to the same charges and were given probation under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The Crown dropped numerous other charges against the four accused, including multiple counts of sexual assault, forcible confinement and uttering threats.
Sources told the Free Press at least some of the alleged victims have since left the school or the country, which resulted in some of the charges not being pursued.
Police identified at least 12 students at SJR who were abused between September and December 2009, court previously heard. The four accused admitted to attacking six of them with a wooden walking stick, which was "pressed against their buttocks and anal area."