Three teens who sexually assaulted a fellow St. Michael’s College student with a broom last November were sentenced Thursday to two years probation each for the crime.
Justice Brian Weagant said a custodial sentence wasn’t required because the teens have already suffered harsh consequences.
“The voice of the community has been clear. These boys were expelled from school,” wrote Weagant in his judgment.
“One boy faced threats. These boys have faced serious criminal charges and have been the object of intense media scrutiny.”
Weagant said the three former students, now 16, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon in an attack against a student in the school’s dressing room on Oct. 17, 2018 after a junior football game. One also pleaded guilty to making child pornography for videotaping the horrific Nov. 7 attack.
“They did more than show remorse for what they have done,” said Weagant. “(They expressed remorse) for what they did not do.
“Each realizes he had a chance to stop what was happening but did not and that realization informs the deep. . . remorse they each have exhibited,” said Weagant. The youths cannot be legally identified.
The media focus “has added to the shame the boys are feeling,” said Weagant. “Their families have to run a gauntlet of media vans (entering court).”
The assailants “significantly underappreciated what they were doing (was sexual violence) … but in the moment, thought it was locker room roughhousing that was going too far,” said Weagant.
Defence lawyer Rachel Lichtman praised the sentence as “just and fair.
“The victims have suffered severely. More suffering is not justice,” said Lichtman, who represented one teen. “(Jailing) somebody doesn’t take away from someone’s suffering. It doesn’t erase anything.”
Crown attorney Erin McNamara implored the judge to jail all threefor between 10 and 15 months for “causing an unforgettable trauma.”