Girl's attacker jailed 30 months
Convict claims he's given his life to Jesus

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 26/97) - Clutching a bible in his hand, a man who said he has given his life to Jesus has been given 30 months in jail for sexual interference with a girl under 14 years of age.

NWT Supreme Court Justice Virginia Schuler said in Yellowknife last week the man had a "horrendous" criminal record of 66 convictions.

While he had no previous record of a sexual offence, he does have a history of assault, she noted.

The man, 33, comes from the Inuvik area and has been in trouble with the law since he was five, when his relatives gave him alcohol and laughed when he got drunk, court heard.

Crown prosecutor Brad Allison said the man has been in jail 18 times over the past 17 years and he thought it was awfully late in the day to say he has changed.

The crime of touching for sexual purposes a person under 14 took place in Fort Smith several years ago.

He has been in jail for the past few years for assault causing bodily harm on the victim's mother.

He was due for release last September, but was arrested and charged for his repeated attacks on the daughter and was never released from custody.

The victim testified that she was suicidal and often considered hanging herself or slashing her neck.

The girl said she doesn't trust men whatsoever, but has friends once again in her life and is receiving counselling.

A woman who works with prisoners at the Yellowknife Correctional Centre testified that the man had been in a rage and wanted to hurt people, but would then assume break down and cry.

In the past several weeks he has become respectful and very involved with the church, she said.

Jail staff also wrote letters of support. A pastor said the man, whom he met last November, was full of hatred but is now happy.

The man has made peace with his maker, Rev. Richard Birch said.

Schuler said this type of offence is all too common in the NWT, as well as across Canada.

She said people working with him have noticed a change and has no doubt he's showing it. The deputy warden of the jail and a classification officer wouldn't be fooled if there wasn't some change.

But she said she has to be concerned whether he can make this change and whether it can be permanent.