Failing to check the age of his sexual partner has landed Taryn Boutin of Bashaw with a year-long incarceration and registration in the sexual offenders database after the young man pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual interference with a minor.
Boutin appeared in Alberta Provincial Court in Stettler on Thursday, Nov. 12.
The victim, whose identity is protected under a court-ordered publication ban, was 13 years old at the time of the event, and had been drinking when the victim and Boutin had sexual intercourse. Boutin was later charged by RCMP, and pleaded guilty to the charge early in the legal process.
“Most people don’t understand that sexual assault runs the gamut from unwanted sexual touching to the most horrid sexual offences,” Judge Holmes said. “(The victim) is obviously confused by what happened and how people who know what happened have been treating (the victim).”
Judge Holmes took a moment to condemn those in the community who have taken part in victim shaming or who have otherwise blamed the victim for Boutin’s crime.
Prosecutor Edward Ring asked the court to sentence Boutin to a two-year, less a day, sentence, with a 12- to 18-month long probation order afterwards. Boutin’s lawyer, Glen Allen, stated that the minimum mandatory sentence of one year, plus probation, should be sufficient.
Boutin was the subject of two pre-sentencing reports, Judge J.D. Holmes said. The reports indicated that Boutin was at low risk to re-offend and that the behaviour was out of the ordinary for the young man, who had just turned 18 when the crime took place.
Before rendering judgement, Judge Holmes considered the aggravating factors, which were that the victim is a minor and was only 13, rather than nearing the age of consent, that the victim was impaired by alcohol and that the sexual offence was actually intercourse, as well as the mitigating factors, which were the lack of record for Boutin, the early guilty plea which prevented the victim from having to testify, the pre-sentencing reports and low risk to re-offend, that the assault was out of character for Boutin and his family support,.
Judge Holmes also combed through existing case law looking for similar cases, and noted that the involvement with the victim was a one-time event, that there was no prolonged or repeat occurrences or any grooming that took place before the sexual behaviour. Further, Boutin had followed his probation to the letter throughout the roughly 18 months from his release after arrest to the sentencing.
Boutin’s probation, which starts after his release, prevents any contact with the victim, requires him to be on the sexual offenders database for 10 years, requires him to submit a DNA sample to the Canadian DNA databank, prohibits the use or ownership of firearms for 10 years and a life-ban on restricted firearms. He is also prohibited from working, either in a paid or volunteer capacity, in any job where he may have the care of persons under the age of 16 in his care.
“This is a tragedy for both persons involved, in my view,” Judge Holmes said.
Traffic stop turns into drug bustLogan Barritt, 33, was driving through Stettler when he was pulled over for a broken tail light, but ended up being charged with possession with intent to traffic. Barritt appeared in court and pleaded to a lesser charge of possession, and was given a $700 fine.
When police pulled Barritt over, they found five bags of cocaine.
Barritt will also need to attend a 90-day treatment as part of his plea to a lesser charge, but Judge Holmes warned the man that he was “close to going to jail.”
Judge refuses to postpone pleaCody Sutley’s counsel asked Judge Holmes to put over his client’s plea until January, as the accused had applied to a treatment program and there was a waiting list.
Given the length of time Sutley’s name has been on the docket and his multiple appearances, Judge Holmes refused.
“I just don’t want to see it go over another eight months,” he said “Something happens.”
Sutley, thus required to enter a plea, entered a plea of guilty, and the Crown read the facts to the court.
On July 17, around 9:30 p.m., Sutley was pulled over for swerving onto the shoulder and then across the centre line. A blood-alcohol test was done at the detachment and revealed that Sutley was “very drunk.”
Sutley confirmed the facts, and the guilty plea was accepted. Judge Holmes postponed sentencing until Sutley has a chance to complete the treatment program to which he’s applied, but a two-year driving prohibition — increased from one year due to the high intoxication level — was come into effect immediately.