Calgary man seduced by underage girl will not spend more time in jail10:18 am - 06/08/2011
June 8, 2011 6:58 AM
A 25-year-old man who was seduced into a sexual relationship by a 14-year-old girl who lived with her mother in the same Calgary apartment building will not have to spend any extra time behind bars.
The Alberta Court of Appeal on Tuesday rejected the Crown’s bid to more than double the 17-month jail sentence imposed last year on Cheng Jun Feng for sexual interference.
Appellate justices Peter Martin, Jack Watson and Patricia Rowbotham said in their written decision that the trial judge considered several factors, including the difference in age and the fact the sexual relationship was the complainant’s idea.
Court heard that Feng and the girl would play computer games and visit during the day while her mother was at work.
The girl told her school friends that she was “infatuated” with Feng, but was cautioned that he would abandon her or end their relationship if she did not engage him in sexual intercourse.
It began in April 2008 and ended nine months later when the girl’s mother caught them having sex.
“She begged him several times and (Feng) had said no many times before relenting,” said the appellate court.
“(He) only agreed to the sexual relationship after checking the law and satisfying himself that the complainant could legally consent. He learned that in April 2008. Unbeknownst to him, the law changed in May 2008; thus he was operating under a mistake of law, which does not provide a defence, but may mitigate the sentence.”
The Crown had sought a sentence of three to four years. Defence argued for 12 months.
The appellate court also noted the man was never manipulative, predatory or abusive, nor had he groomed the complainant and the sexual relationship was never aggravated by the use of alcohol or drugs.
He also had told the girl he would marry her when she turned 18.
The man was also co-operative with police and advised them immediately that he had checked the age of consent before engaging in sexual activity with the girl.
“This led the trial judge to conclude that the (offender) was not ‘simply using her for sexual gratification,’” said the appellate justices, alluding to the Nov. 29 decision by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Peter McIntyre.
“Importantly, the trial judge found as a fact that the complainant was not traumatized as a consequence of the relationship . . . that finding was supported by the evidence.”
Feng had no prior criminal record and had a university degree and good work history.
Not even sure how to tag this mess, TBH.