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This article was published 1/10/2015 (1501 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Sagkeeng First Nation man who burned his female partner’s tailbone with a lighter, tied her to a crib with their baby inside and then raped her will not be going to jail.
Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Suche has instead given the 35-year-old accused a suspended sentence with probation. It was a surprising decision Thursday, considering the Crown had asked for a six-year prison sentence.
But Suche decided on a much more lenient penalty which falls far below what the Court of Appeal has said is the normal starting point of at least three years for a major sexual assault of this kind. Suche cited the "unusual" facts of this case in making her ruling.
"There’s no evidence before me this was part of a cycle of violence of intimidation," Suche said. She described this as a "spontaneous" act in the course of a lengthy domestic relationship "that had been very difficult and tense."
The Crown has 30 days to decide whether it will file an appeal of Suche’s decision.
This attack happened in 2004 but wasn’t reported to police until 2010 as the couple continued with what was described as an on-again, off-again romance. The case then dragged through the justice system, including having the Crown enter a stay of proceedings in 2012 when the victim didn’t show up to testify at the preliminary hearing.
The charge was re-instated within the one-year deadline, went to preliminary hearing in late 2013, trial in 2014 and ended with a guilty finding to three charges including sexual assault, assault with a weapon and forcible confinement. Sentencing then dragged on for several more months.
"I don’t recall what I did but I take full responsibility," the accused said Thursday. In fact, he never did take responsibility as he fought the charge every step the way. But Suche made findings at trial that deemed him guilty.
The man has struggled with alcohol addiction and anger management issues which Suche ordered him to address as part of his probation. She also put him on a nightly curfew.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.