A Prince George man was sentenced Wednesday to a 40-day conditional sentence order followed by one-year probation for sexually assaulting three preteen girls at the Prince George Aquatic Centre.
James Allan Prince, 67, will also be on the national sex offender registry for the next eight years. Conditional sentences are served at home with a curfew.
Prince would have been issued a stiffer sentence if not for the fact that while his actions constituted sexual assault, Provincial Court Judge Peter McDermick found they were not sexual in intent.
The court has heard that during an evening in November 2017, Prince became upset with the girls, ages 11-12, as he tried to make his way around the lazy river at the PGAC and repeatedly put his hand on their bottoms to push them out of the way.
When one of the girls told him his actions were inappropriate, Prince replied that they were meant to be and told her to get out of his way, the court has heard.
Two of the girls then alerted a lifeguard and RCMP subsequently arrested Prince, who by then had gotten out of the water and had gone into the sauna.
While McDermick found Prince's actions were intentional he agreed with defence counsel Tony Zipp that they were conducted without sexual intent.
Nonetheless, he concluded they still constituted three counts of sexual assault due to their "repetitive nature and anatomical placement of the contact."
Had McDermick also found there was sexual intent, Prince would also have been found guilty of three counts of sexual interference of a person under 16.
Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen