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P.E.I. woman sentenced for sexually assaulting teenage boy

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy a number of instances over a 25-day interval has resulted in a three-year federal jail sentence for a P.E.I. girl.

“I actually am sorry,” mentioned Athena Marie Dunnet, 40, in P.E.I. Supreme Courtroom earlier than Justice John Mitchell at sentencing on Oct. 25. “He did not need to take care of any of this.”

A publication ban is in place stopping the discharge of data that would establish the sufferer.

Apart from the jail time period, Dunnet was positioned on the nationwide intercourse offender registry for 20 years and ordered to supply a pattern of her DNA to the nationwide databank. Mitchell gave Dunnet 5 months of enhanced credit score for time already served in custody.

Seven incidents

The offences occurred from July 1 to July 25, 2020, when Dunnet sexually assaulted the boy seven instances. The offences included sexual activity and oral intercourse and occurred in locations like a path within the woods and inside a motorcar.

A 3rd celebration reported the matter to police, and Dunnet was arrested on July 29, 2020.

The boy didn’t file a sufferer influence assertion with the court docket.

Because the matter proceeded by way of the court docket, considerations have been raised about Dunnet’s psychological health. Dunnet was ordered to endure a psychiatric evaluation, which resulted in a analysis for borderline persona dysfunction and substance abuse points involving cocaine and methamphetamine.

Federal jail really useful

Crown legal professional Lisa Goulden really useful a sentence of seven to 9 years in federal jail for the offences. Among the many causes for Goulden’s advice, she mentioned that Dunnet failed to point out appreciation for her ethical blameworthiness within the offences and the influence that they had on the sufferer, which made it tough to evaluate her potential for rehabilitation or danger to reoffend.

Dunnet was represented in court docket by defence lawyer Chris Montigny, who really useful a sentence of two years adopted by a prolonged interval of probation. Montigny famous that Dunnet did not have a previous felony report, and he or she has rehabilitative potential. 

Submit-Friesen sentences

In help of their sentence suggestions, each Goulden and Montigny referred to “post-Friesen” instances. That reference is to the 2020 Supreme Courtroom of Canada case involving a Manitoba man (Justyn Kyle Napoleon Friesen) who was sentenced by a decrease court docket to 6 years in jail for sexually abusing a four-year-old woman.

The Supreme Courtroom upheld the sentence and argued for an “upward departure” from earlier instances and sentences to mirror Parliament’s improve in most sentences and that “society’s understanding of the gravity and harmfulness of those offences has deepened”.

Mitchell additionally cited from the 2020 choice, saying that “mid‑single digit penitentiary phrases for sexual offences towards kids are regular and higher‑single digit and double-digit penitentiary phrases ought to be neither uncommon nor reserved for uncommon or distinctive circumstances.” The utmost sentence for sexual offences towards kids is 14 years in jail, he mentioned.

P.E.I. has had two latest and important post-Friesen sentences for sexual offences towards kids, specifically, six years in jail for P.E.I. music trainer Aaron Phillip Crane in January 2021, and a yr later, a seven-year jail sentence for Nicholas James Gallant.

Accepting duty

Despite the fact that Dunnet pleaded responsible to the cost of sexual interference (for sexually touching an individual beneath the age of 16), she disputed the variety of incidents that have been alleged. That dispute led to a Gardiner listening to over the info, which required the sufferer to testify, and be cross-examined, concerning the variety of incidents since Dunnet was claiming it solely occurred as soon as.

Dunnet additionally beforehand claimed that she was the sufferer and shifted blame onto the teenage sufferer, saying that he was the aggressor.

However at sentencing, Dunnet mentioned the three months she spent in pre-sentence custody gave her time to do a variety of soul-searching and admire the wrongfulness of what she did. 

After listening to Dunnet’s feedback, Mitchell accepted that she had taken duty for her actions, which was step one in the direction of rehabilitation, he mentioned.

Terrence McEachern is a justice reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and could be adopted on Twitter @terry_mcn.

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