A Manitoba teen described as a sexual predator has been given a near-maximum youth sentence for crimes he committed against two female victims and a group of boys at a youth camp.
The now-18-year-old man received a two-year sentence Thursday -- with credit for time served, 16 months remain -- after he pleaded guilty to committing an indecent act, extortion and distribution of intimate images without consent — part of a pattern of "sexually deviant" behaviour that has landed him in court before, provincial court Judge John Guy heard before he imposed the sentence.
The teen was 17 when he committed the offences and can’t be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He was caught watching porn and masturbating in his bunk at a youth camp cabin where other boys were present. He was barred from possessing pornography at the time because of a two-year probation order he received as punishment for sexually abusing a younger male relative in 2014.
Reading aloud from a victim impact statement, the mother of one of the campers told the judge on Thursday her family was "sickened and saddened" when their son told them what happened, and said he was left with a "nagging fear in the pit of his stomach" after what the teen did on Aug. 25, 2016.
The accused wasn’t a registered camper at the Manhattan Beach Retreat Centre near Killarney, but he had been dropped off there for the night, defence lawyer Greg Hawrysh said.
He was arrested in March after he showed high school classmates in Altona a nude photo he had convinced a female student to send him — leading to the charge of distributing an intimate image without consent, an offence added to the Criminal Code two years ago.
He admitted to extortion for engaging in a sexually explicit text-message conversation with another female student and threatening to share it with others unless she gave him $40 or cigarettes. She refused.
Crown attorney Erika Dolcetti said the teen had been accused of stealing women’s underwear and continuing his "sexually deviant" behaviour while in custody by encouraging other inmates to write sex stories and pass the notes to him. He was too young at the time to be placed on the sex offender registry, which doesn’t apply to youth, but Dolcetti urged the court to consider him a predator. He’s had opportunities to take sexual offender counselling but he’s in the habit of "saying the right things but not acting the right way," Dolcetti said.
The teen is in the process of receiving a diagnosis for fetal-alcohol spectrum disorder and hasn’t shown he understands the effects of his repeated sexual offending, court heard.
There’s no guarantee the teen will be rehabilitated unless he puts in the work to change, the judge said.
The teen was also sentenced for breaching the terms of his probation. After his jail sentence, he’ll be subject to a one-year probation term.
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