A sentencing hearing was adjourned on Wednesday for a woman who pleaded guilty to attempting to lure a young girl. The judge said he wants to hear more from both sides for and against mandatory minimum jail time.
The woman's lawyer is arguing the mandatory minimum jail sentence is too harsh.
Rhea Alikamik admitted that in January 2018 she invited an underage girl to engage in sexual activity with her.
According to a statement of agreed facts read in Territorial Court in Yellowknife, Alikamik made the explicit invitations in two text and Facebook messaging conversations. Both conversations were initiated by the victim.
Alikamik, who is now 22, was 20 years old at the time. She was not in court for Wednesday's hearing.
Her lawyer Paul Falvo said, in this case, the mandatory three-month jail sentence for inviting sexual activity from a minor amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, which is not allowed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Accused victim of abuse
Falvo said his client was sexually abused when she was a child. He said there are few resources in her home community of Ulukhaktok for dealing with the emotional aftermath of abuse.
"She's as much a victim in this cycle as a participant," he said. Though Alikamik has traditional on-the-land skills and small engine repair skills, Falvo said "that doesn't mean she has the cognitive and emotional ability to stop a cycle she did not start."
He urged the judge to allow Alikamik to serve any time she is given under house arrest in the community. The prosecutor is arguing that jail time is necessary.
Judge Robert Gorin ordered the lawyers to provide more information on their positions before Alikamik is sentenced in Ulukhaktok on May 8.