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Teen sentenced for church sex assault

Jennifer Geens
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 01/06) - A Yellowknife teen was sentenced to 18 months probation last Thursday for sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl during a church service.

"I'm sorry for what I've done," the boy told judge Robert Gorin before receiving his sentence.

The youth was 15 at the time of the offence and cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The assault took place Feb. 6, 2006 during a service at Glad Tidings church while the pastor was delivering a sermon.

The youth was looking after his younger brother in a back room when a three-year-old girl wandered in, according to the crown prosecutor.

The youth kissed the girl, pulled down her pants and panties, and then pulled down his own pants and exposed himself.

When the girl's guardian realized she had wandered off, the guardian sent her daughter to look for the girl.

When found, the girl described what had happened.

The youth was confronted after the sermon by the girl's guardian, his parents and the pastor, and he confessed to what he had done.

His pre-sentencing report described the youth as naive and uneducated about sex.

Defence counsel Hugh Latimer said the assault was motivated by "feelings of inadequacy" and that the youth had been taunted at school and didn't have a girlfriend.

Latimer endorsed the crown counsel's suggested sentence of 18 months probation.

In addition, the youth must perform 100 hours of community service, participate in whatever counselling his youth worker recommends, have no contact with the complainant and may not be alone with any children under the age of eight.

Gorin also ordered an assessment by child protection services based on information he read in the pre-sentencing report.

"I have concerns when it comes to the practices of his parents in disciplining him," he said.