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Former daycare worker gets 3 years for sex assaults

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A former Winnipeg daycare worker has been sentenced to three years in prison for repeated sexual assaults against a young boy he befriended.

Douglas Elliott, 40, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a series of predatory attacks that began in 1998 but didn't get reported, by the now 20-year-old victim, until 2007.

The Crown was seeking a four-year prison sentence for Elliott. His lawyer asked for a conditional penalty, which would allow him to remain free in the community.

Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey announced her decision this afternoon.

Elliott met the victim while working at an after-school daycare program the boy and his two sisters would attend while their parents were at work. The boy was having difficulty adjusting to the environment and Elliott quickly consoled and befriended him, court was told.

The friendship eventually extended to the boy's parents, who began inviting Elliott to family functions such as dinners and birthday parties. But Elliott began molesting the boy at daycare and continued the attacks on outings such as trips to the park, movies and even parent-approved sleepovers at his home.

Elliott began paying the boy for sex as he got older, giving him up to $40 each time. He bought him a $400 DVD player. When he turned 17, the boy finally began telling others what happened to him. He first told his girlfriend, then his parents, a counsellor and the police.

The victim continues to "have love" for Elliott, but also recognizes the abuse, Kantor said. He struggles with several issues stemming from the abuse, including anger management.

Defence lawyer Evan Roitenberg said Elliott was suffering severe emotional issues when he began abusing the boy. He said Elliott became "emotionally attached" to the victim even before the sexual abuse began, mainly because he didn't have adult friends.

Elliott is now getting treatment and has been free on bail without incident for about three years. Roitenberg said those factors, along with his guilty plea, which saved the victim from testifying, should have resulted in a more lenient sentence.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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