Thursday, September 04, 2003

Can we lock up the judge?

In Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore ponders the reasons our neighbors to the north have significantly fewer gun-related deaths than we do here in the gun-happy USA. The notion that Canadians are simply far more civilized has to be called in to question, however, after a judge refused to incarcerate a man who sexually assaulted a 12 year-old girl apparently on the theory that since her father probably raped her, she must have “wanted it” from others, too. Interesting “defence.” Disgusting decision.

Saskatchewan man won't be jailed for sexual assault of 12-year-old
Last Updated Thu, 04 Sep 2003 22:20:36

MELFORT, SASK. - A man convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Saskatchewan will not be going to prison. A judge has given Dean Edmondson a two-year conditional sentence.

Two years ago, a 12-year-old Cree girl was picked-up by some men near Tisdale. They gave her beer and the girl was later assaulted on a desolate country road.

Three men were charged, but Edmondson was the only one convicted.

Judge Fred Kovatch said he couldn't ignore allegations the girl had been raised in an abusive home. That evidence, he said, supported the defence theory that the girl was the sexual aggressor.

The judge said while Edmondson was convicted of a serious crime, he suspects the aboriginal child was a victim of sexual abuse by a family member.

Family members are outraged. They think Edmondson should be in prison.

Defence lawyer Hugh Harradence says the judge made the right decision. "I think it is justice and it can be defended," he said.

Edmondson was found guilty in May of assaulting the girl in Sept. 2001.

During Edmondson's trial, the girl's underwear was submitted as evidence. Semen belonging to the girl's father was found on it.

The incident has angered the aboriginal community and drawn repeated cries of racism.

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