© Diane Crocker
Stephen Louvelle is seen in Supreme Court in Corner Brook on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.
CORNER BROOK — Justice Alan Seaborn has a few things to consider before he sentences a St. George’s man for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
The judge heard sentencing submissions from both the Crown and defence for 27-year-old Stephen Andrew Louvelle in Supreme Court in Corner Brook on Wednesday. Louvelle was convicted of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching on Feb. 6. The incidents, which involved the same victim, occurred in 2007 during a period when the girl said the two were in a relationship.
Crown attorney Trina Simms asked Seaborn to sentence Louvelle to between five and six years in jail. She maintains that the man was in a position of trust with the girl during the time the offences occurred and that the girl was not at the age to consent to sexual activity with Louvelle.
In her victim impact statement, the girl talks of how she now feels she was manipulated and taken advantage of, and feels what happened will always haunt her.
Simms told Seaborn the fact Louvelle continues to not accept responsibility in denying the offences shows he has no remorse for them. This, she said, makes his prospects for rehabilitation slim.
In addition to the five- to six-year sentence, Simms asked that Louvelle only be granted 217 days for time served since his conviction. That would be on a one-for-one basis. She also requested a DNA order, that his name be placed on a sex offender registry for 20 years and that he be subject to a weapons prohibition.
Order of probation
Simms also asked that the judge issue a 161 order of prohibition that would require Louvelle to stay away from public areas where people under the age of 16 are present and to not have any contact with people under the age of 16. In particular, Simms requested he not be allowed to use Facebook or email to communicate with anyone under 16.
While Louvelle’s lawyer, Gary Kearney, agreed with the need for jail time he argued it should be in the lesser range of two to three years. He argued that Louvelle was not in a position of trust with the girl and that there was no violence involved in the offences.
Kearney also said Louvelle should be granted two-for-one credit for time served because that was the practice at the time of the offences. He said the amendment to the Criminal Code on time served only came into effect in 2010.
He also questioned the need for a 161 order.
Louvelle had originally went to trial on the charges in March 2011, but a jury was unable to reach a verdict. His second trial was by judge alone.
Since his conviction, sentencing has been delayed a few times, once because he fired his original lawyer and a second time because of questions surrounding the impact of his native heritage on sentencing.
A Gladue report was ordered in June and referenced by both lawyers Wednesday, but neither of them saw the results of the report as having any bearing on Louvelle’s sentencing.
Louvelle has applied for status in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, but Simms said the report shows that he could not identify partaking in any cultural activity during his upbringing. She also noted Louvelle’s mother indicated that while the family was aware of its aboriginal heritage that they didn’t bother with it.
Seaborn said while the case has been a long time getting to the sentencing point he wanted some time to consider the arguments and case law presented to him before deciding on a sentence.
He’ll hand down his sentence on Oct. 8.