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Dangerous sex offender loses sentence appeal
A man named a dangerous offender after a bizarre sexual assault in Winfield eight years ago has had his bid to overturn his sentence denied.
In a decision posted online Tuesday, the Court of Appeal ruled that the dangerous offender designation and indeterminate jail sentence given to Larry Wayne Jesse was “not unreasonable” and did not result in an unfit sentence.
Jesse was 53 when, in February 2005, he inserted a cork into the body of a woman who had passed out at a house party in Winfield.
He had previously been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman by inserting plastic shopping bags into her body in 1994, and has convictions for indecent assault and prowling at night that date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At his sentencing, he was found to be a high risk to reoffend and the sentencing judge said there was “no reasonable possibility” of controlling that risk in the community, the Court of Appeal summarized.
Jesse argued on appeal that the sentencing judge failed to adequately consider that the expert witnesses who said he was a high risk to reoffend had relied on unproven facts related to his two prior convictions for indecent assault.
However, the Court of Appeal noted the sentencing judge did exclude consideration of the earlier indecent assault convictions in coming to her sentencing conclusion.
Jesse also argued the judge did not adequately consider whether he could be managed in the community.
“The sentencing judge gave clear and comprehensive reasons for finding that there was no reasonable possibility that the risk Mr. Jesse poses to the community could eventually be controlled and he has failed to establish any error in that finding,” wrote Justice David Frankel in a decision supported by Justices
Christopher Hinkson and Kathryn Neilson. “I would, accordingly, not accede to this ground of appeal.”
Finally,Jesse argued an indeterminate sentence is “unreasonable and unfit,” saying evidence at his sentencing hearing indicated it is unlikely a person designated a dangerous offender will ever be released from custody.
“He further notes that the maximum sentence for sexual assault is 10 years imprisonment and that, therefore, his sentence is significantly harsher than that deemed by Parliament to be appropriate for the most serious sexual assaults by the worst offenders,” wrote Frankel.
“Even accepting that, when viewed in isolation, the Vancouver and Winfield offences do not fall into the ‘worst case/worst offender’ category, the fact remains that the evidence established Mr. Jesse to be a high risk to reoffend and his separation from the community necessary to protect future potential victims,” Frankel concluded.
“ The overarching objective of the dangerous offender provisions is to protect the public from those who can be expected to cause serious harm to others in the future; their primary purpose is preventative,” said Frankel. “In light of that objective, and in light of the danger Mr. Jesse poses to the community, it cannot be said that designating him a dangerous offender constitutes an unfit sentence.”
Jesse had sought to have his sentence varied to one of nine to 10 years in jail, followed by a 10-year-long-term supervision order, or alternatively, have a new sentencing hearing.
The sentence appeal follows a previous unsuccessful attempt by Jesse to have his conviction overturned.
By Cheryl Wierda, Capital News contributor