COURT BRIEFS: Jail time for man who sexually assaulted sleeping woman

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A man who sexually assaulted a sleeping woman at his Dettah home in 2017 will be a registered sex offender for the next 10 years following a sentencing hearing in territorial court.

The 37-year-old man, who isn’t being named in order to protect the identity of the victim, told the court he was sorry and remorseful for the “stupid and foolish,” act before being sentenced by Judge Robert Gorin on Wednesday to 16 months in custody followed by three years of probation for the sexual assault conviction.

While in Yellowknife in February of last year, the court heard, the man ran into a woman who he had known for years and a man.

The offender invited the pair back to his Dettah residence, where the three drank. After passing out on a couch, the woman awoke to the man sexually assaulting her.

The offender, who pleaded guilty to the sex assault, said he doesn’t remember the incident due to being drunk, but accepts that it happened.

The Crown called the sexual assault an “abuse of trust,” that violated the sexual integrity of the victim.
The man’s lawyer, Peter Harte, urged Gorin to consider his client’s long struggle with substance abuse, as well as his loss of loved ones in recent years.

Harte also noted statistics highlighting Indigenous over-representation in the country’s criminal justice system.

Gorin acknowledged Canada’s “shameful history in dealing with Indigenous peoples,” as playing a role in creating issues that bring Indigenous people to court, but emphasized the seriousness of the assault and the vulnerability of the victim.

Sentenced for five unrelated breaches, the man received a global sentence 18 months in jail. With credit for time served, he will spend just over a year behind bars.

Transportation company, supervisor hit with Safety Act charges following worksite incident

A transportation company and its supervisor are facing a number of charges under the territory’s
Safety Act in connection with a worksite incident outside of Yellowknife last summer.

Following a July 10, 2017 incident on Hwy 3 south of Yellowknife, the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission has filed five charges against LSI Transport NWT Limited and supervisor Richard German.

The charges, filed on June 29, allege violations of the Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
According to a release from the WSCC, LSI Transport NWT Limited and German’s charges include failing to:

  • Ensure that supervisors had completed an approved regulatory familiarization program;
  • Ensure that workers are trained in matters necessary to protect their health and safety at a worksite, particularly with respect to working safely near or with moving parts of machinery;
  • Install sufficiently audible alarm systems on machinery with moving parts to provide workers with timely notice of imminent start-up;
  • Ensure that the machine was locked out and remained locked out before workers begin maintenance, testing, or repair work.
  • Provide an effective safeguard to prevent a worker from coming into contact with a dangerous moving part of a machine.

The accused are due to appear in a Yellowknife court on Aug. 21.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.