A man ordered to have no contact with the young girl he was convicted of sexually assaulting has been given three more months in prison for talking to her.
Raymond Milton Simmonds, 54, of Trout River was convicted in 2011 of touching a 14-year-old girl under her clothes for a sexual purpose in 2008.
After serving a 12-month prison term for that offence, Simmonds was subject to a probation order for two years. One of the conditions of that order was that he not have any direct or indirect contact with the victim.
“There is, for instance, a considerable difference in magnitude — or seriousness — between an offender who breaches an alcohol abstention condition and one who has contact with a victim, witness or vulnerable person that the order was designed to protect,” Judge Wayne Gorman wrote in his decision on sentencing.
“In the latter situation, the breach is much more serious and requires an emphasis on denunciation.”
In February 2013, several months before the expiration of the probation order, Simmonds and the girl had a conversation. In court, Simmonds contended the girl initiated the conversation, while the Crown argued it was Simmonds who did so.
The victim told Gorman that Simmonds waved her down as she was driving past his house one day.
She believed Simmonds wanted her to stop. She never stopped at that time, but did stop when she drove back past his house later and he again waved to her.
She said they spoke for around 20 minutes. She recalled little of the conversation, other than they each asked how the other was doing.
The girl knew Simmonds wasn’t allowed to talk to her, but was not upset by the conversation.
The contact became known to the police when the victim’s mother was told of it by another person.
Simmonds acknowledged waving to the girl when she drove past at first, but denied he was waving her down to stop. He testified the girl stopped on her own when she returned later.
Simmonds said their conversation lasted around five or 10 minutes.
Gorman believed the girl, noting her description of being waved down was similar to how Simmonds described it for the court. He also noted the willingness of Simmonds to talk to her when she did stop, knowing it was a breach of his probation.
Simmonds has a prior record that includes serving jail time for breaching court orders.
One of those prior breaches involved having contact with a minor when prohibited from doing so.
Crown attorney Alana Dwyer asked for a 30-day sentence and another year of probation. Defence lawyer Jamie Luscombe asked for a suspended sentence with probation, or a sentence that could be served conditionally.
Gorman opted for a stiffer sentence than what the Crown asked for, noting it would fail to deter Simmonds or others from defying court orders.
Gorman said the nature of this court order breach — contacting a young sexual assault victim when prohibited from doing so — was more serious than other breaches that typically come with a 30-day sentence.
The judge said “a disturbing pattern is developing” when analyzing the “defiance” in the court order breaches Simmonds has committed.
Simmonds was given credit for nine days in pre-sentence custody.
After he finishes serving the jail sentence, he will also be subject to another 12 months of probation, including the condition he have no communication with the victim of his assault.