VANCOUVER (Nov. 6, 2021) -- The Vancouver Collective Against Sexual Exploitation (VCASE) is shocked and disappointed by the light sentence handed to a 41-year-old Nanaimo man who was found guilty of assaulting and raping six females, including a 15-year-old child.
According to a report in the Vancouver Sun earlier this week, Provincial Court Judge Brian Harvey sentenced the man, whose identity was withheld, to six years in custody, even while describing the man’s crimes as “utterly repugnant” and acknowledging that such crimes normally draw a far-stiffer sentence.
“This appears to be a travesty of justice,” says Lynne Kent, chair of VCASE. “It’s appalling that such heinous crimes can be punished so lightly.”
The Sun’s report said the Crown prosecutor and the defence attorney involved in the case made a joint submission calling for the lenient sentence. Judge Harvey was reported to have noted that the rapist had sought counselling.
The report identified the victims as “sex trade workers”, including the 15-year-old-child. “There is no such thing as a 15-year-old sex worker, but child rape is very real,” said Kent.
“We hope the fact, that the victims were all prostituted persons, didn’t cloud the court’s view of the severity of the crimes committed by this serial rapist, especially those he perpetrated against a child.”
Kent also expressed concern that the light sentence will fail to adequately deter other potential criminals. “Our justice system has to send a strong message that society won’t stand for child rape or these sorts of vicious crimes,” she said.
VCASE is a non-partisan group, of diverse individuals and organizations, that seeks to end all forms of sexual exploitation. The collective advocates for the retaining, strengthening, and enforcing of Canada’s Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, which is being challenged by those who want to decriminalize sex buyers and pimps who are the main perpetrators of exploitation and harm.