A man who came to Canada on a student visa and who pleaded guilty to unlawfully confining a teenage girl who was delivering a pizza to him has received a conditional discharge.
The verdict for the man, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, means he will have no criminal record and therefore not face deportation back to India.
Court heard that the man, who is referred to by the initials J.S. in the judge’s ruling on the case, repeatedly tried to entice the 17-year-old girl delivering pizza into his suite and when that didn’t work, used the ruse of having trouble with the debit machine to allow him to grab her wrist.
He tried to pull her into the suite but the teen screamed as much as she could while trying to break free from what she described as a “death grip” on her wrist. She used all of her force to break free and ran to her vehicle.
The day before the April 29, 2019 incident involving the pizza delivery, there had been another incident involving J.S. and a teenage girl.
During a bus ride, he approached the 15-year-old, sat beside her and placed his arm around her on the back of the seat before placing his other hand on her breast and saying “please,” which caused her to immediately react and say “No!” and become visibly upset.
Crown counsel argued that an appropriate sentence would be either a suspended sentence with probation or a short conditional sentence, both of which would result in J.S. getting a criminal record and jeopardizing his ability to stay in Canada.
His lawyer called for a conditional discharge, which would leave him with no criminal record and thus no immigration consequences.
In imposing sentence, Provincial Court Judge Barbara Flewelling said the main issue for her was deciding whether J.S. should have a criminal record.
The judge noted the mitigating factors, which included that J.S. was co-operative with police, had pleaded guilty, sparing the complainant from having to testify and had no prior criminal record.
J.S. had become involved in a church in Canada and had support from church members and was otherwise a man of good character.
Aggravating factors included that the two teens were young, vulnerable women, one of them employed as a pizza delivery driver and working alone.
The judge concluded that J.S. had met the test for a conditional discharge — that the discharge must be in the best interests of the accused and not contrary to the public interest.
“In this case, I am satisfied that a conditional discharge with appropriate conditions is not contrary to the public interest. It will ensure continued oversight of J.S. to minimize any risk that a similar offence may occur again and will thus enhance public safety.”
The judge ordered J.S. to be conditionally discharged after completion of two years of probation. Conditions of the probation include that he have no contact with the two teens and complete 50 hours of community service in the first year.