A man who sexually abused his six-year-old stepdaughter — once while her younger brother was in the room — has been sent to prison for five years.
Reading from a victim impact statement, Crown attorney Deidre Badcock described how the offender took advantage of the fact that the girl’s biological father wasn’t in her life.
Because she wanted a father, and because the abuser seemed to make her mother happy, the girl kept the abuse secret for some time.
"I wanted a father and he used that to his own sick advantage," the victim wrote. "I remember he used to tell me: ‘This is our little secret, if you tell anyone I wont be able to be your dad any more.’"
The 36-year-old offender was sentenced on Friday in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench after being found guilty at trial of sexual interference for multiple acts committed against the girl between Sept. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2007.
His name can’t be printed because it would identify the victim who, now 17 years old, continues to struggle with anxiety and depression from the abuse.
Justice John Menzies found the man guilty of abuse that included having the girl watch porn movies with him, touching and making her perform oral sex on him.
The man lived with the girl and her mother at the time. He would abuse the girl when her mother was out of the home and he was left to care for his stepdaugher and younger brother.
In her victim impact statement, the girl described how, being so young, at first the "secret" made her feel special. The abuser would spoil her to keep her quiet, until she moved out of the home at 13 years old.
But, now older, she realizes her stepfather was simply using the strategies of a sexual predator.
The damage done by the abuse has had deep, lasting effects like post-traumatic stress disorder, self-loathing, and a disrupted education.
"It has crept into every aspect of her life," said Badcock, who argued for a sentence of 4 1/2 to 5 years.
Defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn had requested a sentence of about a year and probation.
In sentencing the offender to five years in prison, however, Menzies said the crimes met the definition of a "major sexual assault" under law. He noted the vulnerability of the young victim who was abused by a man in a position of trust over her.
The offender will also appear on the national sex offender registry for 20 years.
And, for 10 years, he will be barred from attending public places where children under 16 years of age are be expected to be present, and can’t hold a job that involves a position of trust over children that young.