© Geraldine Brophy
Stephen Louvelle was sentenced in Supreme Court in Corner Brook Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.
CORNER BROOK — The judge who sentenced Stephen Andrew Louvelle says prospects for rehabilitation are limited unless the man sent to prison for having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl takes responsibility for what he did.
Justice Alan Seaborn handed the 27-year-old from St. George’s a sentence of three years and six months in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook Tuesday afternoon.
Seaborn found Louvelle guilty of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching Feb. 6 after a judge-alone trial.
Louvelle was convicted of beginning a relationship with the young girl in 2006. The relationship lasted for several months before it ended in 2007.
During the trial, the court heard the two had a sexual relationship that involved intercourse. At one point, the girl thought she was pregnant and allowed Louvelle to stomp on her belly in an attempt to cause an abortion.
While the girl may have been a willing participant in the relationship, she was not old enough to legally consent to a sexual activity with Louvelle, who was 19 at the time.
In reading out the sentence Tuesday, Seaborn said Louvelle had shown no remorse and had taken no responsibility for what he did during the course of the trial and sentencing. That “unwillingness to acknowledge his culpability” demonstrates the need for specific deterrence, said Seaborn.
The judge also noted there is obviously public abhorrence and repugnance any time a vulnerable child is used for the sexual gratification of an adult.
The Crown had requested Louvelle receive five or six years in prison, while the defence said the crimes warranted a sentence in the range of two to three years.
Louvelle has been in custody since the finding of guilt in early February. Because his offences took place prior to legislative amendments that now make it more difficult for people to get double credit for time served in pre-sentence custody, Louvelle was given double credit for the 256 days he had served up until Tuesday.
With the 512 days taken off his overall sentence, the net result is that the remainder of Louvelle’s sentence, as of Tuesday, was two years and 35 days.
Louvelle will also have to provide a sample of his DNA to authorities and will be listed on the national sex offender registry for a period of 20 years.
During sentencing submissions held in September, the court heard that consideration should be given to Louvelle’s aboriginal descent. In his decision Tuesday, Seaborn noted there was no evidence of Louvelle being a member of any aboriginal band or having partaken in any cultural activities that should warrant any impact on his sentencing.
This was the second time Louvelle was tried on the sex charges. In 2011, a jury was unable to reach a verdict and a new trial was required.