Summerside courthouse. File photo
SUMMERSIDE – A Summerside man was sentenced Friday for a sexual assault that took place at Credit Union Place last year.
Donald Gerald Gaudet, 19, pleaded guilty to the charge during a previous court appearance.
On Friday, Judge John Douglas suspended the passing of sentence and ordered Gaudet to serve three years of probation, provide a DNA sample and register with the national sex offender registry for a period of 10 years.
Before Douglas handed down his judgment, both the Crown and defence lawyer, Trish Cheverie, indicated to the court that this was a difficult case given Gaudet’s circumstances.
They indicated that he has numerous mental challenges and a limited capacity to understand the circumstances he’d found himself in.
However, Cheverie did indicate that by working with Gaudet’s support worker, he has been able to understand what he did was wrong, and has been making significant personal progress of late.
“I think it is fair to say that at the end of the day, DJ has been able to accept responsibility for what he’s done and to express what I would consider to be sincere remorse and understanding that his bahaviour was not appropriate,” said Cheverie.
She also indicated that probation would be good for the rehabilitation of her client, because he would be able to access counseling services.
“I think the circumstances right now are positive for DJ, it’s important the he maintain the services that he has and the support systems that are now in place. And hopefully, from what he’s telling me, we won’t see him back here, because he’s learned his lesson,” said Cheverie.
The incident in question occurred May 24, 2013.
Gaudet and a young woman made arrangements to walk together at the indoor track at Summerside’s Credit Union Place.
They walked about half a lap before going outside onto one of the terraces overlooking the raceway.
At one point during their conversation Gaudet exposed his penis to the young and said he’d like to have sex with her.
In response, she slapped and kicked him before running to her mother, who was waiting nearby. They went straight to the police station to report the incident and Gaudet was arrested a short time later.