TORONTO – An Ontario man has been sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for subjecting his daughter to “unrelenting” sexual assaults over several years while convincing her that theirs was a normal, loving relationship.
The man, who cannot be identified in order to protect the victim’s identity, “treated (his daughter) like a wife and made her do chores for him as well as imposing unwanted sexual intimacy on her,” Justice Brian P. O’Marra said in a sentencing decision released last week.
“Incest is a soul-destroying crime,” the judge said, adding that the man’s offences “involve an egregious breach of parental trust.”
“The victim was deprived of a normal, supportive father and subjected to sexual touching and assaults commencing when she was 11 years old. (The man) manipulated and controlled the victim and convinced her that she had to prove she loved him.”
He was convicted of incest, sexual assault and sexual interference for offences that began in 1997 and ended in 2012.
Court documents say the man first placed his daughter’s hand on his genitals and, over time, “demanded sexual intimacy in acts that included anal and vaginal intercourse.”
“The offences were unrelenting over several years,” the judge said. “The victim was made to believe that their relationship was normal and acceptable.”
“(He) preyed upon his daughter and led her to believe that their sexual relationship was appropriate. He wanted her to believe that they were ‘lovers’ rather than parent and child.”
In 2009, the daughter had a sexual relationship with a young man, the document says. When her father found out, he insisted she have unprotected sex with him.
During trial, the victim testified that she became pregnant with what she believed was her father’s child and got an abortion.
While it is not known who fathered the child, O’Marra said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the man committed incest “numerous” times.
The daughter told the court the abuse she endured left her feeling ashamed, guilty and depressed, and that she was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In her victim impact statement, she said that despite feeling she had “lost everything,” she had decided to forgive her father.
“By forgiving it does not mean I will allow him to hurt me again, by forgiving him today I’m letting him go, and with him all those memories of pain, shame and guilt,” she said.
O’Marra handed down consecutive sentences of one year for the sexual interference charge, one year and two years respectively for the two separate sexual assault charges and four years for the charge of incest, less six months of credit for the strict bail conditions imposed as the man awaited trial.
The Crown had been asking for five to six years, while the the defence asked for two to three years less credit for time served.