Saturday, 22 August 2009

BC More Lenient on Sexual Assault?

The case of rapist Fernando Manuel Alves's conditional -- no jail -- sentence got me wondering about sentencing for sexual assault in Canada in general, and BC in particular.

At the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, I found this:
According to Statistics Canada, the median sentences for sexual assault and for other sexual offenses are both 360 days. To compare, the median sentence for robbery is 540 days. This seems deeply flawed—to violently steal property is given more weight in sentencing than to violate the sexual integrity of another human being.

I went to the StatsCan link and found sentencing data by province for 2006/2007. Here, for example, is the table for BC.

Now, if I haven't goofed up the math, it appears that BC has a significantly higher rate of conditional sentencing for sexual assault than either Canada overall or Ontario.

In BC, there were 187 convictions for sexual assault: 68 of those resulted in prison time, 48 in conditional sentences, and 102 in probation.

For Canada overall, the numbers are: 1519 convictions, 753 prison sentences, 244 conditional sentences, and 999 probation.

For Ontario, 535 convictions, 236 prison sentences, 85 conditional, and 427 probation.

(The sentences don't add up to the total convictions, I'm guessing, because probation might go with a lot of other sentences. I am not a lawyer and sit to be corrected.)

In Canada overall, 49% of convictions for sexual assault result in jail time; in Ontario, 44%; and in BC, 36%.

For conditional sentencing, Canada has 16%, Ontario has 15.8%, BC has 25.6%.

OK, this is just one time period. There may be anomalies in the types and numbers of crimes.

But, it's odd, doncha think, that Ontario and Canada line up pretty well, while BC seems quite a bit more lenient?

Just asking. . .


deBeauxOs said...

Over at Dr Dawg's blogpost about Alves, I left a comment in the combox about the incompetence of the police with regard to the preparation of the case against him. It's been claimed that the Sergeant heading the Sexual Offenses Squad that investigated the complaint against Alves that ultimately went to trial was removed from that job because he was openly hostile to the complainant. I can't help but wonder how that affected the collection of evidence.

In other news, a Winnipeg ex-cop has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a premeditated sex attack on his terminally ill ex-wife. "The victim is living with lifelong horror," Crown attorney Tania Holland told court in describing the July 2008 attack, which came after the man had already been arrested five previous times since 2006 for breaching a protection order the victim obtained against him. "These were sadistic, cruel and vicious acts he committed against her. And it was all planned."

Anonymous said...

Besides the lenient sentencing (if any) why are sex offenders allowed back out in the public so early when there is extremely high chance of them "re-offending"? Seeing as how they can not be rehabilitated which is a proven fact! The laws will only change when we the public stand up and do something about it. I am from Calgary and you should see the violent sex offenders being let back into society...but at least they let us know I guy violently raped a women and slit her throat and all he served was 5.5 years ....which just happened to be the MAX sentence he recieved for this crime - disgusting!

I was under the impression that according to Bill C-127 (passed in 1983)there were higher maximums sentences....but what do I know, I get my info off the internet :)

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