A 49-year-old Halifax man who admitted to sexually abusing his underage stepdaughter over a period of several years must wait a little while longer to learn whether he must serve any more time in prison.
Sentencing arguments were made Tuesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, and Justice Peter Rosinski reserved his decision.
Court was told that the abuse started in 2013 when the girl was just 13. It continued until 2018, when the girl and her mother went to the RCMP to report it.
The man, whose identity is being withheld to protect his victim from further harm, pleaded guilty to a number of charges he faced on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial. The charges include sexual interference, sexual touching, sexual exploitation and making child pornography.
In an agreed statement of facts, the man admitted to taking compromising photos of the girl, in addition to the sexual abuse.
Physical, emotional toll
In a victim impact statement read by a court worker, the young woman described the physical and emotional toll the abuse has taken on her. She said she was homeless for a time, suffers anxiety and panic attacks, and has difficulty forming or maintaining relationships. She told court her teen years were lost.
Her mother filed her own victim impact statement, citing how the case had caused a serious rift in the family which she is still working to rebuild.
The man apologized to both women for the harm he has done.
At the start of the sentencing hearing, he testified about the difficulties he faced while in jail waiting for his case to make its way through the courts. He complained that he became sick because of smoke in the air caused by smokers.
The Crown is recommending a sentence of nine years with credit of more than 1,000 days for the time he spent on remand. His lawyer countered that he should get a 3½ year sentence. With credit for time served, the defence recommendation would see the man spend no more time behind bars.
Rosinski set July 30 for his sentencing decision.
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