Repeat sexual offender sentenced

A Pelly Crossing man has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for a 2010 sexual assault. Joseph Townsend, 58, is described by one assessment as an "unrepentant, essentially untreated sexual offender.

A Pelly Crossing man has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for a 2010 sexual assault.

Joseph Townsend, 58, is described by one assessment as an “unrepentant, essentially untreated sexual offender.” He was also classified by the courts as a dangerous offender, which means he will be kept under supervision for 10 years after his release.

After a trial in November 2011, a jury found Townsend guilty of sexually assaulting the adult daughter of his common-law partner while she slept in a tent in the summer of 2010.

The two had been drinking that night.

She fell asleep but woke up to fined Townsend in the tent. Her pants and underwear had been pulled down.

Seven years ago, Townsend pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the same woman, for which he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Townsend has a lengthy criminal history, with 75 convictions including common assault, possession of weapons, impaired driving and three previous sexual assaults.

In 2003, he was convicted of sexually assaulting and choking the same woman.

Eleven years earlier he pleaded guilty to another sexual assault and was sentenced to two months in jail.

His first sexual assault conviction came in 1984.

For that violent attack on a 10-year-old girl, which involved a knife, he was sentenced to seven years in a federal prison.

Townsend pleaded guilty to his past convictions for sexual assault, but he now insists on his innocence.

In all cases, he had consensual sex, and the young girl misidentified him as her attacker, he asserts. He claims he was pressured into pleading guilty.

In an examination of Townsend, psychiatrist Dr. Harpreet Khaira Lohrasbe diagnosed him with an anti-social personality disorder and substance abuse/dependency.

Dr. Lohrasbe also noted a disheartening amount of self-deception in Townsend.

“At a time when many men with histories of violence attempt to move toward acceptance and redemption he remains securely ensconced in his self-centeredness, with very little overt guilt, shame or remorse,” said the report.

In handing down his sentence, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale said he holds out little hope of Townsend’s rehabilitation.

“I conclude that, in the context of this sexual assault and its repercussions for the victim, and given Mr. Townsend’s lack of insight or remorse, or even acceptance of responsibility, I cannot give great weight to restorative justice or rehabilitation objective which could lead to a lower-term of imprisonment.”

With credit for the time already served, Townsend has slightly more than five years left in his sentence.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon Employees’ Union says a lack of staff training and high turnover at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter is creating a dangerous situation for underpaid workers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Employees’ Union says lack of training at emergency shelter leading to unsafe situations

Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said the staffing policy “is evolving”

Justice Karen Wenckebach will begin serving as resident judge on the Yukon Supreme Court early next year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
All-female justice roster ‘a good step’ for diversity in Yukon Supreme Court

Karen Wenckebach is the third woman appointed to the Yukon Supreme Court in history

The Liberal government blocked a motion by Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers that would have asked the federal government to provide the territories with more than a per capita amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses during initial distribution. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Party says a per capita distribution of vaccines would leave Yukon short

The opposition is also asking the government to release their plan for vaccine distribution

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 4, 2020

Dawson City’s BHB Storage facility experienced a break-and-enter last month, according to Yukon RCMP. (File photo)
Storage lockers damaged, items stolen in Dawson City

BHB Storage facility victim to second Dawson City break-and-enter last month

A sign outside the Yukon Inn Convention Centre indicates Yukoners can get a flu vaccine inside. As of Dec. 4, the vaccinations won’t be available at the convention centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse Convention Centre ends flu vaccination service early

Flu vaccinations won’t be available at the Whitehorse Convention Centre after Dec.… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White River First Nation to run for councillors in the 2021 election. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News File)
White River First Nation to elect new chief and council

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White… Continue reading

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new councillor in a byelection held Dec. 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
Watson Lake elects new councillor

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new… Continue reading

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Most Read