The sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl has resulted in a 14 month jail sentence for her assailant.
Jeremy Melvin Carlson, also known as Rhiley Melvin Carlson, was handed the jail sentence Friday, more than a year after she pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual interference against a young person.
She was also sentenced to two years of probation.
The court heard that Carlson, now 28, touched the girl for a sexual purpose on nine separate occasions between December 2015 and September 2016 before the girl disclosed the abuse to her mother and ultimately the RCMP.
During the sentencing decision Friday, the court heard that Carlson reported using marijuana heavily at the time she committed the offences and that she has struggled with gender identity, depression and drug abuse during her life.
Carlson committed the offence as a man, the court heard, but now identifies as a woman.
She pleaded guilty to sexual interference on Nov. 24, 2017, and has shown “remorse and empathy” to the victim since her arrest and has sought counselling on her own.
“She knew what she did was wrong,” said Judge Monica McParland.
However, aggravating factors in sentencing included Carlson’s attempt to blame the victim for the offence and the fact the abuse took place over the period of 10 months.
The offences were not a momentary “lapse in judgment,” said McParland.
The court heard that the impact of the abuse on the victim has “already been significant,” with the girl suffering from nightmares and increased anxiety.
She “will likely be impacted for many years,” said McParland.
The judge said the sentencing principles of denunciation, deterrence and separation from society “take precedence” over other sentencing principles in a case of a child being the victim of sexual abuse.
“A strong denunciatory sentence is called for,” she said, although adding there still needs to be room for rehabilitation.
Crown sought a 15 to 20 month jail sentence, followed by two years of probation. Defence asked for 90 days in custody, to be served intermittently, followed by three years of probation.
McParland ruled the appropriate sentence was 14 months in custody, followed by 24 months of probation.
Carlson must take psychiatric treatment as part of her probation and cannot be alone with a child under 16. She is barred from being in any park, swimming pool, community centre, school or daycare where a child under 16 could be, unless in the presence of an approved adult. She is also not allowed contact with the victim or her mother.
In addition, Carlson must submit a sample of her DNA, be part of the sex offender registry for 20 years and is subject to a 10 year weapons prohibition.
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