A recent Ontario court decision that jeopardizes legislation allowing violent offenders to be declared dangerous and kept in jail for life will force lawyers to reargue a Kamloops sentencing.
Supreme Court justice Richard Blair was set to render a decision Wednesday on whether Dennis Bragg should be labelled a dangerous offender or the lesser long-term offender.
Bragg was convicted in 2010 of sexually assaulting a crack-addicted, pregnant woman on June 17, 2009, and taking her to a remote location where he had sex with her against her will. He has a criminal history for other sexual offences.
The woman also suffers fetal-alcohol syndrome and has the cognitive ability of a young child.
At his trial, the defence suggested the two had consensual sex for money but she got angry and called police after he did not pay the whole amount.
Should Bragg be labelled a dangerous offender he could spend the rest of his life in jail.
But last week an Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled a section of the Criminal Code passed into law in 2008 makes it too easy to slap a dangerous offender label on people convicted of multiple violent or sexual crimes.
Bragg’s lawyer, Dan Henderson, is seeking a long-term supervision order once Bragg serves a jail sentence of a determinate length.
The Crown wants Bragg labelled a dangerous offender. Crown lawyer Don Mann didn’t rule out calling new evidence in light of the Ontario decision that questions the constitutionality of the Criminal Code section.
A date has not been set for new sentencing arguments.