Molester gets nearly two years
Victim diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder

by Ian Elliot
Northern News Services

NNSL (Nov 26/97) - A man who sexually assaulted a passed-out female co-worker in a hotel room following a company party in 1995 was sentenced to two years less a day last week.

Larry Reed, 34, now living in White Rock, B.C., was found guilty of sexually assaulting the woman by a jury in Yellowknife last week.

The jury heard that the woman had been propositioned by Reed earlier in the evening and found him passed out in her room later, but did not ask him to leave because there was another person in the room.

She awoke in the middle of the night, though, to find Reed molesting her and he refused to stop when she asked him to leave. The attack was reported to police in May 1996, and Reed was charged after that investigation.

The victim testified that since the attack, she had been unable to work and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a syndrome which sometimes affects survivors of assaults and makes it impossible for them to function normally.

Judge John Vertes noted that testimony differed on whether Reed penetrated the woman with his fingers but said the "significant point is that the accused took advantage of a defenceless person."

He brushed aside defence arguments that the assault was an "impulsive, isolated act" and sentenced Reed to two years less a day but recommended he serve it in a B.C. prison to be closer to his home, and that he get counselling while in prison.

The offence also carries a minimum 10-year ban on the possession of firearms and ammunition from the date of his release.

Reed, married since the assault, said prior to sentencing that he was throwing himself on the mercy of the court, to which Vertes replied that he ought to spend his time in prison planning what he would do upon release.