A Chilliwack man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three young boys in his care was sentenced to 18 months in jail and three years probation Friday by a provincial court judge.
Judge Roy Dickey rejected a defence plea for a conditional sentence, referring to a pre-sentence report that indicates the 42-year-old man, despite his remorse and his efforts to rehabilitate himself, remains a risk to re-offend.
Dickey also pointed out the accused was in a position of trust with all three victims — as stepfather, uncle and babysitter — and with an earlier victim he assaulted when he was the boy’s hockey coach.
“All were carried out when he was in a position of trust,” Dickey said, and the assaults constituted a series of “multiple attacks over a long period of time.”
“I am not satisfied that he can (serve a conditional sentence) without endangering the safety of the community,” Judge Dickey said.
The offender can’t be named because of a court order to protect the identity of the three victims.
Those offenses, which occurred between 2001 and 2009, involved engaging boys as young as five years old in sex acts, in some cases for years, as the offender had continuing family relationships with them.
Outside the court, family members of the victims were furious with the 18-month sentence.
“It’s a joke,” one mother said, pointing out that a Stanley Cup rioter recently got 17 months in jail for throwing a newspaper box around.
“My son doesn’t trust people now. He doesn’t have friends, he’s a social loner,” she said.
“He doesn’t leave the house. He goes to school and comes home,” she continued.
“He’s in a prison that (the offender) made for him … and he doesn’t know how to get out of it.”
The offender claimed he was also sexually abused as a child, and the fear of that “cycle of abuse” and the guilt they suffered, still haunts the victims.
“These children, they were robbed of their innocence,” the mother of one victim said. “They were taught to lie. They were taught to lie about everything that put their well-being in danger.”
Judge Dickey ordered the offender to have no contact with the victims or with anyone under age 16. He may have “supervised” contact with his three-year-old son.
During the three-year probation, the offender is to report regularly to a probation officer and may not attend any public place, including parks, playgrounds and daycare facilities, where the presence of persons under age 17 may reasonably be expected, unless he is accompanied by an approved adult.
The offender must also enter sex offender treatment programs, as well as counselling for drug and alcohol abuse.