Because a man didn’t varrify his facts, a court
is letting him off
because he didn’t know the age of consent had changed.
CALGARY – A misunderstanding of the age of consent will keep a Calgary man out of prison, court ruled.
The Alberta Court of Appeal, in a ruling released Tuesday, rejected a Crown appeal to increase the man’s 17-month jail sentence.
The high court judges agreed there were substantial mitigating circumstances which justified a punishment below the three to four years sought by the prosecution.
Among those were the offender’s misunderstanding of the age of consent, despite researching it before succumbing to a 14-year-old girl’s persistent sexual advances.
The man, then 25, had initially told the girl, a neighbour, she was too young for him to have sex with, despite her “begging” him to.
In April, 2008, he went to a library and learned the age of consent at the time was 14, and they began having sex on June 19, 2008.
However, in May, 2008, Parliament amended the Criminal Code to raise the age of consent to 16, making the contact unlawful.
“He was operating under a mistake of law, which does not provide a defence but may mitigate the sentence,” wrote Justice Peter Martin, in handing down the appeal court’s unanimous ruling.
Martin also noted the offender, who told police after his arrest he plans to marry the girl when she is 18, didn’t prey on his young victim.
“The sexual relationship was the complainant’s idea – she begged him several times and the respondent (to the appeal) had said no many times before relenting,” he said.
“The respondent was never manipulative, predatory, or abusive, nor had he ‘groomed’ the complainant,” Martin said.
“Also, the sexual relationship was never aggravated by use of alcohol or drugs.”
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Peter McIntyre handed the man the 17-month term last November, after concluding his blameworthiness was on the low end of the scale.
in my opinion, you didn’t varrify your facts, so you should pay for breaking the law.
No matter if the girl was pushing, it’s your responsibility to know and abide by the law, simple as that.