A man who sexually abused his ex-partner multiple times during their relationship and assaulted their daughter has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
"Crimes involving abuse in domestic relationships are particularly heinous crimes because they are not isolated events in the life of the victim. Rather, the victim is often subjected not only to continuing abuse, both physical and emotional, but also experiences perpetual fear of the offender," Justice Scott Abel told the Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench in his decision on Tuesday.
"This perpetual fear is something (the victim) speaks of in her victim impact statement."
The 28-year-old man, who cannot be named due to a publication ban put in place to protect the victims, was found guilty after a trial last year of multiple charges including assault causing bodily harm, two counts of sexual assault, uttering threats and voyeurism.
The charges stem from the man’s approximate five-year relationship with his ex-girlfriend, who testified during trial the man sexually abused her numerous times while they were together despite her telling him to stop.
The man would hold her down and digitally penetrate her against her will, she testified, sometimes using objects such as a beer bottle, an electric toothbrush and an electric razor.
She also testified the man had choked her to the point of blacking out before having sex with her, and that he video recorded the couple having sex without her consent.
On another occasion, the woman recalled the man telling her he was going to digitally penetrate her "no matter what" and pinned her down on the ground while he did so, leaving her with a bruise and a rug burn on her face that remains a scar to this day.
The man also threatened the couple’s young daughter, the woman said, and physically abused her on a few occasions.
The aggravating factors present in this case were extensive, Abel said, such as the ongoing and repetitive nature of the assaults, the fact the assaults were committed against a spouse and that one of the assaults was committed against a child, and the fact choking to overcome was part of the assaultive behaviour.
"Rendering a person unconscious, whether by choking, strangulation or suffocation, is an inherently dangerous act that is easily capable of causing death or brain injury with devastating life-long consequences," Abel said. "This is an act of cruel domination met by sheer horror and often accompanied by serious physical and psychological harm."
Abel noted the significant impact on the victim could be realized in her statement, in which the woman said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder that at times has left her paralyzed with fear.
During argument, the accused could not speak to any mitigating circumstances, Abel said.
In his pre-sentence report, Abel said the man was assessed as being an above-average risk of being charged or convicted of another sexual offence.
He showed little empathy on how the victim may have been impacted from these charges, Abel said, rather belittling the victim and blaming her for the majority of the negative aspects of the relationship.
Defence counsel asked the court to take the man’s loss of employment and the subsequent financial price into consideration during sentencing.
However, in the man’s pre-sentence report, he stated he had no intention of finding legitimate employment or go on employment assistance because the victim "didn’t deserve financial support."
Because the accused made the decision not to work, the financial impact of the conviction was not a significant factor in sentencing, Abel said.
The Crown recommended an eight-year sentence, while defence suggested a sentence of three years would be sufficient.
Abel sentenced the man to a total of seven years in prison.
He was placed on a lifetime weapons prohibition and must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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