A 32-year-old man who admitted to sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl for two months — a crime not reported for several years — will go to jail.
Nelson Thomas, now 36, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in jail along with two years of probation.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell argued Thomas should be eligible for a two-year conditional sentence because he had no criminal record and was a First Nations man who does not suffer from alcohol or drug problems.
Campbell also said Thomas regrets targeting the girl and recognizes what he did was wrong. He admitted the acts to police and pleaded guilty.
But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan called Thomas’s nightly visits to the girl’s bedroom “serious and violent” — something that calls for a jail sentence.
“A conditional sentence in these circumstances — when Mr. Thomas continues to blame the victim and lacks insight and poses a risk to the community — is not appropriate.”
The Crown asked for two years jail.
The girl reported the incidents in 2010 after being encouraged by a boyfriend to go to police. When RCMP interviewed Thomas he admitted touching the girl, including having intercourse on a final occasion, saying she was "so convincing."
The girl's name is protected under a provision of the Criminal Code.
The girl met Thomas and his wife at the Kamloopa Pow Wow. Their families were already friends and they became closer. Eventually Thomas and his wife moved in with the family.
Eventually Thomas went into the girl's bedroom and touched her sexually, something the girl said she didn't want. This happened nightly for more than a month.
In addition to 14 months jail, Thomas will serve two years probation, during which time he is banned from being around people under 16 and cannot go to parks, playgrounds and other areas where children may be present
His name will be entered into the national sex offender registry for 20 years.