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Stephen Freake was sentenced Thursday to eight months in jail on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and voyeurism.

Freake, 46, was involved in a number of community activities including volunteering with youth sports.

Stephen Freake was sentenced Thursday to eight months in jail after sexually assaulting a minor. NNSL file photo

In delivering his sentence, Territorial Court judge Donovan Molloy said “there is no indication as to how many occasions these events occurred on, or with what frequency.” It is known, however that offences occurred with a minor over a five-year period.

A publication ban prevents the disclosure of any details that could identify the victim. 

In his submissions last month, defence lawyer Leslie Moore argued that the judge should consider conditional sentencing, whereby Freake could serve his time from his home prior to two years of probation.

He said that to appear before the court was out of character for the man and that the court should consider other factors including the financial stress the court process has put on Freake. 

Moore said a “conditional sentence can be made so lengthy and so onerous” so as to properly address the crime. He also said the  has significantly impacted the offender’s mental health and that he barely leaves his home.

“He needs to get out into the community, and perhaps give back to the community,” Moore said.

Molloy, however, rejected the suggestion of conditional sentencing and accepted the Crown’s submission of eight months in jail, followed by two years of probation. 

“I am not satisfied that his service of the sentence in the community would not endanger the safety of the community,” the judge said. 

Molloy told the court that while it is mitigating that this is Freake’s first offence and that his guilty plea prevented the victim from having to testify, “The fact that an offender was in a position of trust in regards to the victim is a significant aggravating factor.”

“Denouncing and deterring such conduct is imperative,” he said.

Molloy also noted that while “Freake briefly acknowledged his wrongdoing,” in his statement to the court, he “primarily spoke to the hardships he has experienced as a businessman and a resident of a small city.”

“While I do not consider this weak rationalization as aggravating,” Molloy said, “it is concerning in terms of his potential for rehabilitation.”

Following his jail term, Freake will be prohibited, for a period of 10 years, from seeking any volunteer or employed position that involves being in a position of trust or authority to children under age 16.

In his court appearance last month, Freake told the court that he is “deeply sorry and deeply ashamed” of his actions. 

He told Molloy that he is “not a threat to the public.”

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Natalie Pressman

Reporting courts and cops and general news, Natalie started with NNSL Media in 2020. Before moving to Yellowknife, Natalie worked as a community radio trainer in Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First...

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