A Summerside man who fathered a child with, then abandoned, his underage girlfriend is going to jail.
The accused pleaded guilty on Aug. 14, 2017, and was sentenced on Feb. 18, 2018.
He was ordered to serve two and half years in jail.
He was also ordered to pay a $200 victim surcharge, must submit a DNA sample to the national criminal database, will be registered as a sex offender for 20 years, is prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years, is prohibited from contacting the victim, and his ability to interact with people under 16 years of age is restricted for the next three years.
There is a publication ban on any information which could identify the victim in this
The man was 26 years old and the victim was 15 when their child was born. The two had been living together for about a year, but their relationship ended shortly before she gave birth.
According to the Crown’s summation of the case, both Summerside Police Services and Child Protection Services were aware of accusations that the accused was living with and having intercourse with the victim prior to her pregnancy, but couldn’t prove it conclusively.
Police spoke with the victim and the accused on several occasions, individually and together, warning them that the girl was underage and it was a serious crime for the accused to have sex with her. The age of consent in Canada is 16.
Neither the victim nor the accused admitted during any of those conversations with authorities to ever having had sex with each other.
In early 2015 Child Protection Services became aware that the girl was pregnant and informed Prince County Hospital that it was to be notified when the baby was born, which it did. A police and Child Protection Services investigation was then started.
During the investigation, a paternity test was secured by police, which determined the accused was more than 99 per cent likely to be the baby’s father.
During a subsequent interview with police, it was explained to the accused again that because of his age it was sexual assault for him to have intercourse with a 15-year-old, even if she consented.
He replied, “I don’t have a problem with that, if you do and the rest of the government does than that’s their problem, not mine. I don’t have anything wrong with that.”
He also blamed the way the victim dressed for his apparent inability to decipher her age and said, “how are you supposed to know the difference, really?”
The victim later told police that she made no secret of her age before or during their relationship.
In her victim impact statement the girl said she was scarred, but happy, when she learned she was pregnant. She said they had been using birth control, but stopped when they couldn’t afford it anymore.
She mostly expressed sadness that the accused does not acknowledge their child and has made no attempts to support or even see her, despite her attempts to include him in the baby’s life. She also spoke of her desire for an apology from the accused.
She went on to say that since the birth of her daughter, she has reunited with her parents, is in a positive relationship with a supportive new partner and is generally doing well.