A 53-year-old Collingwood man facing sentencing on sex-related charges involving his children has been declared a long-term offender.
Superior Court Justice Mary Vallee imposed the designation Friday in Barrie court after deciding against the more onerous dangerous-offender designation sought by the Crown attorney.
Both are designed for the future protection of the public, but the dangerous-offender provision allows the possibility of an indeterminate sentence.
The Collingwood man was handed a sentence of seven years and six months, minus credit for the time he spent in jail awaiting trial. BarrieToday has chosen not to publish the man's name because the crimes involved his family members.
“Beginning today, (he) shall serve six months and two days in custody,” Vallee declared.
That is to be followed by a 10-year long-term supervision order, the maximum available, intended to control his activity in the community.
He was convicted of sexual interference, sexual assault, procuring sexual activity by a parent, and three counts of assault involving his children following a trial in 2019, which date back to activity from 1994 to 2000.
Court heard he has a lengthy criminal background and has spent all but a couple of the last 17 years in prison.
“Her judgment was in accordance with all the evidence that was available to her, so I certainly think it was the right result,” said defence lawyer Alison Craig.
In the hour-long sentence hearing, Vallee referred to an assessment conducted by Toronto forensic psychiatrist Dr. Philip Klassen in which he determined that the man’s violent behaviour flows from a mindset, not childhood trauma typical to many offenders.
At age 23, he began collecting welfare and selling drugs, which continued until 2012, court heard.
“He enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle and lived outside of the law,” the judge said, referring to the psychiatrist’s report. “Dr. Klassen stated that (he) lives by the inmate code of behaviour, which includes not speaking to the police.”
Klassen concluded that he had an alcohol-use disorder, but determined most of the man’s criminal behaviour is personality based and perhaps paraphilia-based.
The judge referred to the man’s lengthy criminal record, which includes 64 criminal offences between 1990 and 2016. And she said he has declined to participate in sex offender programming while in custody.
The man’s record includes a conviction of assault and uttering threats in 1992 after punching his sister and threatening his mother in what he described as a little scruff.
There are also sex-related convictions in 2008 involving two children from 2002 to 2004.
The accused man told the psychiatrist they never happened and that he has never shown aggression toward children, court heard.
A 2015 conviction on assault and weapons charges landed him in custody where he has remained.
Vallee said the man’s risk to the public is paramount. And while the psychiatrist found the highest risk was to intimate partners, she pointed out that he has never been convicted of domestic assault.
The sex assaults, she added, showed a pattern of behaviour. And the psychiatrist found there was a substantial risk of re-offending, although the risk assessments did not show a probability of future sexual behaviour, court heard.
“I cannot say that (he) constitutes a threat with a probability or likelihood of causing injury or death,” the judge said, coming to the same conclusion about the probability of future sexual behaviour.
“I find (he) cannot be designated as a dangerous offender.”
Instead, the judge labelled him as a long-term offender.