LETHBRIDGE - 34-year-old Coaldale resident Trevor Pritchard now has a 5th conviction added to the multitude of others in 2004, 2009, 2010, and in January 2019.
This time, the conviction related to the sexual assault and internet luring of a 15-year-old girl back in 2017.
The girl, who was in the courtroom for the sentencing, wiped away tears and tried reading her victim impact statement, but ultimately could not do so. Crown co-lawyer Sarah Goard-Baker instead, read it out for her, telling Justice Rodney Jerke how Pritchard's crime affected her to this day.
Goard-Baker told the court on behalf of the girl, "I can not live a normal life after what happened. It's hard for me to even want to leave my house some days, because I start to get afraid of leaving my house.
"I don't have a really great relationship with my friends because I feel like I can't trust anyone. I'm scared to get a job, because I'm afraid to talk to people I don't know."
The girl's letter also indicated that she still suffers physically from the attack.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Pritchard communicated with the girl hundreds of times through Facebook, text and email. The girl began opening up, talking about her problems and came to trust him.
The Crown told the court he represented himself, not as a 32-year-old man, but as a 25-year-old and lured her to his home on the pretense of a job interview.
While at his home, he told the girl there would be no interview, pushed her onto his bed and sexually assaulted her, knowing she was 15-years-old. He then threatened to kill her and told her he had "eyes and ears everywhere."
The Crown asked for a seven-year global sentence, which took into consideration the severity of both crimes with 37-months credit (1.5 days for each day) for time served, while Defense lawyer Andre Ouellette asked for a sentence of 5-7 years with 2 to 2.5 days credit for each day already served.
The Crown co-lawyers Goard-Baker and Donna Spaner also presented arguments to Justice Jerke indicating that not only had Pritchard felt little or no remorse or guilt for his crimes, his emotional immaturity, as noted in a pre-sentencing report, allowed him to consistently deny responsibility for his crimes and in fact, to blame others.
However, according to the psychiatric report, there were no cognitive deficits, other than an average to slightly below average intelligence noted. The psychiatrist also noted there would likely be a high likelihood of recidivism, or likelihood to re-offend.
Ouellette noted that there is no real indication of what might be at the root of Pritchard's immaturity and that "remorse is self-reflection based on maturity." Something which Pritchard did not possess.
However, Justice Jerke noted that "lots of immature people are able to have remorse," and that sometimes things get to the point "where we say, we've done our best, we have to amputate him (Pritchard) from society."
Noting previous instances of possible brain damage, at the ages of 6 months, 2 years and 11 years of age, and a mitigating factor that Pritchard had previously entered a guilty plea to the crimes, Jerke sentenced Pritchard to 6.5 years in jail, with credit for 37 months time served.
He also noted that should an application to enhance time-served credit be initiated, it must be done within 30 days.
Pritchard must also give a DNA sample, will have no-contact order in relation to the victim, a firearms prohibition and a 20-year-internet prohibition with certain conditions.
Dangerous Offender Assessment
In a separate matter earlier in the day, the Crown lawyers Spaner and Goard-Baker also applied for Pritchard to undergo a 60-day psychiatric assessment to determine whether he should be designated as a long-term or dangerous offender.
Pritchard was convicted Jan. 16 by Justice Johnna Kubik of luring, sexual assault and possession of child pornography in relation to two other girls who were 14-years-old at the time of the offences.
In her decision to grant the order, Justice Kubik’s reasons included Pritchard’s four prior sexual assault convictions, sentences exceeding two years, prior psychiatric assessments indicating a similar pattern of offences and the failure on the part of Pritchard to understand those offences.
Pritchard was expected to be transferred to the facility where the assessment would be completed, within 24 hours. He will be back in court June 10.
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