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Judge has reservations about sentence for sexual assaulter

A Kelowna judge sentenced Terry Ian Muller to two years, less the 53 days he’s already served in jail,  for a sexual assault three years earlier, but admitted reservations about letting him off so easy.

“An attack of this sort, with no understanding of why it happened, leads me to wonder if Mr. Muller is an explosive, hidden behind an benign package,” said Justice Peter Rogers.  

“That worries me quite a bit.”

The sentence was a joint submission on the part of Muller’s lawyer and Crown counsel, after Muller had entered a guilty plea to the charge a year earlier. 

The 32-year-old Fraser Valley resident admitted  to a May 20, 2007, sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman. 

According to an agreed statement of fact, the victim was walking on Abbott Street after leaving  the Gotchas nightclub when Muller approached her.

They had met earlier in the line-up for the club.

At the time,  the victim remarked it was a strange coincidence that they were walking home on the same path together.

Muller put his arm around the woman, in initially in a “friendly way,” although that changed decisively when he tried to lead her into an Abbott Street driveway, forcing her to the ground and covering her mouth to stifle her screams, indicating he was armed with a knife.

He then sexually assaulted her—removing her underwear and lifting her skirt—while she fought back. 

When he removed his hand his hand she let out a scream that was heard by neighbours.

They came out, and Muller fled the scene, only to be picked up hours later by the police with scratches on his face. 

“I cannot express the deep regret and sorrow I have as a result of my actions,” said Muller before his sentence came down. 

“I don’t have any clear memory of my actions, and I have never hurt anyone  before, let alone a female.”

Muller, a father and caretaker to his ill mother, went on to say the bulk of his friends were women, some of whom had also suffered the results of sexual assaults and violence.

Muller said he can’t reconcile his actions that night with the life he’s led.  

The incongruities were also the subject of numerous letters of friends and family.

But Justice Rogers also acknowledged the victim’s impact statement was “heart-wrenching,” showing him what happened that night  will have repercussions on both parties for years to come. 

In addition to his jail sentence, Muller will get three years probation upon his release and will be subject to a 10 year weapons ban. He will also have to submit his DNA.

kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com 


 

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