Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Abused girl 'failed' by system

Mom let pedophile move in

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A six-year-old Winnipeg girl was molested more than 100 times after what justice officials say was a failure of her mother and the justice system to protect her from a high-risk pedophile.

Facts of the case emerged Wednesday at a sentencing hearing.

Crown and defence lawyers both expressed shock at what occurred, saying there appears to be no similar case in Canada.

"She was powerless to prevent it," said provincial court Judge Catherine Carlson, who said the facts are "horrific."

A 51-year-old man -- who can't be named to protect the identity of the victim -- pleaded guilty to sexual interference and was sentenced to eight years in prison under a joint recommendation. The maximum sentence is 10 years.

The man was convicted in 2004 of sexually assaulting his 14-year-old biological daughter on one occasion. He was sentenced to 31/2 years in prison. He claimed he targeted the teen to get revenge on his wife, who he believed had cheated on him and "wasn't providing for him sexually."

While the man was behind bars, his wife began a relationship with a male friend, got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter in 2005.

'He blames her for what happened. He did this as a form of retribution, to get back at her. At this point in the interview, the police officer had to leave the room to physically restrain himself from the outrage'

-- Crown attorney Kyle Parker

The man was released from prison in 2007 after serving the full sentence. Prison officials warned he was a ticking time bomb who was likely to reoffend, especially against kids in his home.

"The risks had not been addressed," Crown attorney Kyle Parker said.

The man moved back in with his wife and her newborn daughter after regaining his freedom. The woman welcomed him back.

Since his sentence had expired, there were no parole conditions banning him from contact with children.

Child and Family Services officials had no provisions or supervision in place to ensure the man wasn't reoffending.

"I see this as a failure by the system," defence lawyer John Corona told court.

Police have the ability to obtain court orders against high-risk, untreated sex offenders once they have served every second of their sentence. The application, under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, can place restrictive conditions such as not being alone with children.

However, no such order was obtained in this case.

In 2011, the man began molesting her daughter, who was six years old.

The abuse happened at least twice a week for an entire year, usually while the mother was away.

The incidents included attempted intercourse and fondling, often in the master bedroom.

The girl told her mother in June 2012. The mother refused to go to police and continued to stand by her husband, despite knowing he'd previously abused their teenage daughter.

One week later, the girl had to go to the doctor for issues related to the abuse she endured. While there, she disclosed what the man had done to her in graphic detail. Police were called and the man was arrested.

"Daddy said don't tell," the girl told investigators.

During his interview last summer, the man told police a similar tale: He had molested the girl because he was angry with his wife for cheating on him.

"He blames her for what happened. He did this as a form of retribution, to get back at her," said Parker. "At this point in the interview, the police officer had to leave the room to physically restrain himself from the outrage."

The man's wife continues to stand by him and was in court Wednesday. She recently lost custody of the children.

"She is, for whatever reason... I can't provide the background or justify it, but she is supportive of him," Parker told the judge.

"It's rather horrifying to hear his justification for committing these acts," Carlson said Wednesday.

The man has colon cancer and other health problems, which means he may die in prison. If he does live past the expiration of his sentence, he will be on the sex-abuse registry permanently and under a court order not to have contact with children under 16.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2013 A3

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