The Crown is calling for a prison sentence in the range of six to eight years for a 29-year-old Charlottetown man who committed what was described to the court as a high-end sexual assault involving a female under the age of 16 years.
Shane Douglas Doucette has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.
Speaking in provincial court in Charlottetown on Wednesday, Crown counsel Valerie Moore told the court Doucette first came into contact with the victim when she was just eight years old and that the initial incident of inappropriate conduct involved him offering to show her his genitals if she would show him hers.
Over the next couple of years the level of inappropriate conduct progressed from simply wanting to look at her body to wanting to touch her body.
By the time the victim was 10 years old ,Doucette, who was 15 years older, was engaging in sexual intercourse with her on a regular basis.
The victim, who was not related to Doucette, initially considered him to be a friend and at times he protected her from other people in her life who were abusive. But there were also times when Doucette would become abusive.
At one point he threatened to kill her if she told anyone what they’d done.
All contact between the two ended in the spring of 2012. The victim was not yet a teenager.
Suspicions were raised about the inappropriate nature of Doucette’s conduct on at least two previous occasions but efforts to investigate that conduct did not result in charges.
Moore said there were several aggravating factors in this case, among them the nature of the sexual interference, which included vaginal penetration. Also aggravating was the fact this conduct was not a one-time thing but took place over the course of years.
Moore also cited as aggravating the fact the inappropriate sexual conduct was accompanied by physical and psychological abuse.
Clare Henderson, Doucette’s defence counsel, said Doucette now acknowledges the relationship between the victim and himself was entirely inappropriate given her age.
Henderson said Doucette believed he and the victim loved each other and were in a consensual relationship.
She noted that Doucette has accepted responsibility for his actions and that by pleading guilty has spared the victim from having to testify in court.
Henderson said an appropriate sentence for Doucette would be something in the range of three to five years.
Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr has adjourned the case to Feb. 14 for sentence.