Island man sentenced to 5 years in prison for sex crimes against his half-sisters

An Island man has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting his half-sisters decades ago.

The women came forward two years ago, telling police about the sexual abuse they suffered as children over a numbers of years, ending in the 1980s.

"This was a systemic pattern of abuse. This required premeditation," said Justice James Gormley as he handed down the sentence Monday in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Charlottetown. "He had ample opportunity to demonstrate mercy and he chose not to."

The man was known to them at the time of the incidents as their uncle. It later emerged he was their half-brother. Three women came forward with complaints. The man pleaded not guilty to all the charges. After a trial last year, he was convicted of crimes against two of them, including indecent assault and threatening to kill them.

After court Monday, the two women expressed some relief at the outcome of the trial and the sentence.

"I was glad to see it. I would rather he got more," one of the women told CBC News.

Effect on family

"It had an awful effect on our family. I just wish everybody would wake up. And all the kids out there, tell your parents if somebody's touching you. Don't be scared."

Court heard the man, now 58, had no related prior criminal record, but had been sent to jail following impaired driving convictions. His current common-law partner and an adult daughter continue to support him.

CBC News is not naming the man to protect the victims. The court has ordered they not be identified.

The judge told court the five-year prison sentence reflects ongoing efforts on P.E.I. to step up penalties for sex crimes against children, in line with the rest of Canada.

In addition to five years in prison, the man's name will remain on the national sex offender registry for the rest of his life. He was also ordered to provide a DNA sample and was placed on a life-time weapons prohibition.

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