Father gets 23 years for ‘insidious’ crimes
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» EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains graphic elements that may be upsetting to some readers.
A man who a judge said committed “insidious” and “reprehensible” crimes of incest against his young daughters was sent to prison for more than 20 years Thursday afternoon.
“These offences are serious and reprehensible … He was unrelenting in the sexual abuse of his daughters, acting with intention and deliberation,” Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said while reading her decision in Brandon provincial court.
“The victim impact is crushing, the harm enduring and unquantifiable.”
The man previously pleaded guilty to sexual interference, committing incest and two counts of making child pornography, all over the course of multiple years.
He cannot be identified because there is a publication ban on any information that would identify the victims in the case.
The charges relate to the man’s daughters, who were under 18 years of age when the crimes were committed.
The man first came to police attention approximately six years ago, when police suspected he was sexually abusing his daughter, but the initial investigation finished without charges, Hewitt-Michta summarized in her decision.
The victim came across photos of the abuse at the time, but hid them outside the residence under a piece of wood, she said.
Then, a few years later, the victim’s mother found the hidden photos while cleaning. The photos showed a sexual act between the accused and his oldest daughter when she was approximately 10 years old.
The oldest daughter gave a statement to police, Hewitt-Michta said, and confirmed sexual abuse “on an almost daily basis” between when she was six and 12 years old.
Abuse included oral and vaginal sex and first started when the victim was three years old, she said.
The man’s youngest daughter also gave a statement to police in which she said she was abused when she was five years old. The abuse included attempted vaginal and anal penetration.
When police executed a search warrant, they seized electronic devices and found more than 1,200 photos and videos of child pornography, Hewitt-Michta said, including 473 unique images and 109 unique videos. All the photos and videos showed the accused sexually abusing his daughters.
“The imagery is abhorrent,” she said, adding some videos contained dialogue, including the victim saying “no” or asking their father to stop. The accused persuaded them to do what he asked and gave instructions.
Some of the videos had extremely graphic titles, she said.
There were also videos of one of the victims showering.
Police also found more than 1,681 photos and videos of the oldest daughter that focus on her breasts and buttocks, Hewitt-Michta said. There were also approximately 161,700 unique images of adult pornography.
“The accused bribed the victims with treats and rewards. He warned them not to tell anyone, saying they would get into trouble, as would he,” the judge said.
The man sat silently in the courtroom as the judge read her decision. There were also several women sitting in the gallery to hear the sentence.
The man, who Hewitt-Michta said comes from a “broken home,” served in the military and on several tours overseas. While in the military he reported witnessing “atrocities” and believes the experience changed him.
Since then, he has had a wide variety of mental health issues, depression and a suicide attempt, she said.
The man’s crimes have had a deep impact on the family, Hewitt-Michta said. The oldest girl has post-traumatic stress disorder and the girls’ mother lives with the guilt of what happened.
“The magnitude of the accused’s abuse of his eldest daughter is confounding. She was subject to countless incidents spanning the vast majority of her childhood,” she said.
“She was of tender years when the violence began, and it continued through many of her formative years. The accused’s decision to document the abuse and then to compile, edit and to add titles and text all compounds the seriousness.
“The accused robbed her of her childhood. She is shattered.”
The abuse against the man’s youngest daughter was “insidious,” she said, adding he was in a position of trust with both girls and he manipulated them.
Hewitt-Michta sentenced the man to 23 years behind bars for the crimes, minus time served. The sentence breaks down into 10 years for incest, 10 years concurrent for sexual interference with the oldest daughter, four years for making child pornography with the older victim, seven years for sexual interference with the younger victim and two years for making child porn with the younger victim.
She also ordered him to provide a DNA sample to police and to register with the sex offender registry for the rest of his life. The man is also banned for life from going to public parks or other spaces where kids might be, communicating with anyone under 16, from using social media and from depicting children in any form.
“What you did is just terrible,” Hewitt-Michta said to the man after delivering her sentence.
“I just don’t even have words, really, to describe how terrible it is.”
The man was led away quietly by Manitoba Sheriff officers after the judge finished.
» Twitter: @DrewMay_