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Man sentenced to 18 years for sexual assaults, but not declared dangerous offender

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A Manitoba man who viciously sexually assaulted an employee at a Winnipeg tanning salon and then fled the province to commit further violent mayhem against women in British Columbia has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars — but managed to dodge being declared a dangerous offender.

Shaun Funk, 39, faced the prospect of being locked behind bars indefinitely after pleading guilty to a spate of serious crimes committed over a span of four months starting in mid-2009.

But a British Columbia judge recently shot down a request by the Crown that Funk be declared a dangerous offender.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies instead ruled in favour of naming Funk a long-term offender.

Davies has placed him on a long-term supervision order to keep his conduct in check after his prison time ends.

Funk armed himself with a knife and walked into an East Kildonan tanning salon on July 13, 2009.

He threatened the lone woman working there and stole $125 from the business.

He then ordered the 26-year-old victim to a laundry room, where he seriously sexually assaulted her while hanging on to the knife.

Funk fled out the salon's back door when a customer came in and startled him.

The victim, through an impact statement presented at Funk's sentencing, suffered injuries and emotional trauma.

"She will never forget the sights and smells of Shaun Funk’s assault upon her and regrets that she did not fight back," wrote Davies in a 102-page decision.

The woman remains afraid to this day she'll be victimized by crime again and the prospect of contracting some disease from the attack.

Funk left Winnipeg soon after, later telling the RCMP the salon attack was all over the local news and Crime Stoppers and he "felt the heat coming."

He also indicated he went west to "end his life," said Davies.

Winnipeg police never identified him as the suspect in the assault nor as the perpetrator of a gas-station robbery a few days earlier.

They only learned he was involved through his admissions to RCMP after his arrest in Regina in November 2009.

After fleeing Manitoba for B.C., Funk went on to commit several other crimes in the weeks that followed.

These included: another tanning salon robbery, a random rape and robbery of a 42-year-old woman in Squamish and a serious sexual assault of a 52-year-old woman in Ladysmith.

In that case, Funk walked into the victim's unlocked home and attacked her.

"At one point (the victim) said to him, 'You are probably about my son’s age,' and he mumbled, 'This is bad or something like that,' wrote Davies. She managed to dial 911 on her cellphone, which Funk promptly stole. Police tracked the phone to a bar where Funk had walked out on his bill but left a debit card behind with his name on it.

A Canada-wide warrant issued.

Despite that, Funk wouldn't be arrested for any of his crimes until he was picked up by Regina RCMP and confessed to Sgt. Peter Cross, said Davies.

Funk was no stranger to the justice system, having been convicted in Winnipeg and Calgary for assaults and mischief in the past.

He told RCMP upon his arrest and confession that he hoped to cooperate to get himself some help.

I feel bad. I want all those people I hurt to be able to... move on and I just want to get it over as fast as I can whatever happens to me," he told Cross.

"I never wanted to do this stuff you have to understand... none of it was planned."

A Crown psychiatrist — whom Funk refused to be interviewed by — found he had several risk factors, including unresolved issues towards women, a need for power and control and "problems with anger, stress and emotion management," Davies stated.

His long-standing troubles make treatment difficult, the doctor found.

A defence psychiatrist opined that Funk was remorseful and didn't have psychopathic traits.

The doctor's only explanation for Funk's sudden onset of sexual offending was he was likely suffering from a condition brought about by a mood disorder (severe depression) combined with substance abuse.

He found Funk to be a "moderate" risk to reoffend violently and sexually — if he took part in intensive treatment.

After denying the Crown's dangerous offender bid, Davies handed down an 18-year-sentence, which was reduced by double-time credit of eight years and eight months for his remand time.

The crimes were committed prior to federal changes to the law which now forbid so-called "two for one" reductions for dead time.

He has nine years left to serve. After that, he'll be bound by the terms of a 10-year-long supervision order.

Davies recommended that prison officials eventually relocate Funk to Manitoba to be closer to family supports while in custody and after he gets out.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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