Credits: SUN NEWS NETWORK
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON -- An Ontario man was handed the mandatory minimum sentence Monday for crawling drunk into the bed of a sleeping eight-year-old girl and sucking on her buttocks.
Robert Dennie, 47, was jailed for 45 days for sexual interference – touching a person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose.
Ontario Court Justice Kristine Bignell also placed him on three years probation, the maximum period allowed under the Criminal Code.
Dennie must also register as a sex offender for 20 years and can't possess weapons for 10 years.
He is also prohibited from attending any public park or swimming area where persons under the age of 16 may be, as well as daycare centres, school grounds, playgrounds or community centres for five years.
Dennie pleaded guilty to the December 2010 offence in June and sentencing was adjourned so that a pre-sentence report could be done.
At that time, Bignell heard the eight-year-old girl was sleeping at a home where a number of adults were playing cards.
She told police Dennie crawled into bed with her, pulled up her nightclothes and sucked on her butt.
A court order prohibits publishing any information that may identify the victim.
Assistant Crown attorney Benoit Renaud called for four months custody for the “opportunistic” crime.
Defence attorney Ken Walker argued that the minimum sentence was appropriate for what he termed “conduct that is on the light end as far as this offence.”
His client is remorseful, suffers from a mental illness and was under the influence of alcohol at the time, he said.
When Dennie spoke to police he indicated he was so drunk he couldn't remember, but if the girl “said it happened, it happened,” Walker said.
She noted Dennie has no prior criminal record, was co-operative with police and pleaded guilty.
His guilty plea meant a young child didn't have to testify in court, the judge said.
Bignell said that after considering all the circumstances, she thought the mandatory minimum sentence was appropriate.