A Whitehorse teenager has been sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting three young girls who were between the ages of seven and 10.
Because of their ages, neither the accused nor the victims can be named.
According to the agreed statement of facts, the accused approached a seven-year-old girl while she was playing outside her home and convinced her to go down a trail into a wooded area with him.
Once there he took off her coat, pulled down her pants and underwear and touched her between the legs.
She managed to break free and ran away but was caught by the teenager before she could escape. In the struggle that followed, her shirt came off.
After giving her shirt back, the young man told her not to tell anyone what happened. But when she got back home she alerted her parents, who contacted the RCMP.
The teenager was arrested later that day.
In June of that year more charges were laid after two other young girls confided to a camp councillor that the same young man had sexually assaulted them as well.
The first incident happened in the winter of 2009.
The teen and two young girls were watching television in a basement together when he pulled one of them on top of himself and told her to take off her shirt. She refused. He started to take off his own shirt but stopped when interrupted by the girls’ father.
The second incident happened in the spring of 2011.
Two girls were playing across the street from the teen’s house. He called them over and got one girl inside his house, locking the other one outside.
He pulled the girl onto the couch, put his arm over her mouth and tried to pull down her pants while her friend kicked at the door from outside.
When the girl started crying he let her go and told her not to tell anyone.
The sentencing hearing was supposed to happen earlier in the week but was delayed while the court tried to determine if it had the authority to compel the teen to undergo treatment outside of the territory.
While there is a Youth High Risk Treatment Program in the Yukon, the court was advised that the teen would not be able to attend.
In pre-sentencing reports, two psychologists recommended a sex-offender program in Calgary, but neither the teen nor his mother would consent to him being shipped out of the territory for treatment that could last up to 13 months.
In the end, Judge John Faulkner concluded that even though the Calgary program would be the best option for the teen, the court doesn’t have the power to compel him to attend against his will.
In passing his sentence, the judge expressed hope that a suitable treatment program could be found.
“If left untreated he faces the certainty of returning to court as an adult where the consequences will be more dire,” said Faulkner.
The Crown had been asking for a six-month deferred sentence, followed by 18 months to two years probation.
Faulkner ruled that a sentence of two years probation would be enough, noting that the teen came from a stable and supportive family and had complied with the terms of his recognizance since the charges were laid.
Though the judge could not compel him to receive treatment outside of the territory, the conditions of his probation stipulate that he must attend an equivalent program.
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