NORTH BAY, ON - A crisis counsellor lost his job for propositioning a victim of childhood sexual abuse, and she's on probation for trying to blackmail him for money by threatening to tell his boss.
The 28-year-old woman experienced "horrific" sexual abuse from her caregivers while she was growing up, and it's understandable why she reacted the way she did to a person in authority, said Ontario Court Justice Jean-Gilles Lebel.
"It's absolutely horrendous things that you suffered at the hands of family members," the judge said, but added her history was no excuse for extortion.
The judge accepted a recommendation on Wednesday by the prosecutor and defence counsel for probation for a year, and it's mandatory with this type of criminal charge to provide a sample to Canada's DNA databank.
"I'm just sorry for this," the woman said.
The crisis counsellor asked the woman in May 2011 if she was interested in a sexual relationship, and she responded to him with extensive text messages including a threat to tell his boss if he didn't give her $300 by a certain date.
Court heard the worker texted her back explaining he thought the woman was attracted to him, but that he didn't have the money and would contact police.
A jail sentence would be appropriate if the woman's background wasn't so tragic, said Crown attorney Paul Condon, adding that's no excuse for what she did but does explain her actions.
A probation report shows the woman has no other criminal record, and she continues to care for her ailing father even though she doesn't have a close relationship with him, court heard.
She is banned from having contact with the counsellor while she's on probation and is continuing to receive counselling.
North Bay is about 340 km north of Toronto.