Sexual abuse of daughters lands man in federal prison

by Keith Corcoran

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The content of this story may be disturbing to readers. Discretion is advised.)

A Lunenburg County man who sexually abused two of his daughters several times while they were young kids "robbed them of their trust and innocence," said a Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice as she handed down her decision to put the man - in his 50s - behind bars for two years.

The man, who cannot be named because it could identify the victims in the case, had previously described himself at one point as a good father, supreme court in Bridgewater heard recently.

Justice Mona Lynch zeroed-in on that statement. "Good fathers don't sexually abuse their children," she said, adding, "[You] weren't a good father when you robbed them of their trust and innocence."

Sex charges against the man arose after one of the daughters talked about the abuse to a counsellor, who, in turn, contacted law enforcement. The man pleaded guilty last year to two counts of sexual interference.

One girl was two years old when her father started touching her for sexual purpose, court heard. The girl's touching of her father stopped around age five, but his touching of her continued for several years. The man told the girl that the family would break-up if her mother knew about what he was doing, court heard.

At the time the touching stopped against her, her sister started experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of her father.

While one daughter deals with issues such as stress, panic attacks and self-esteem problems; saying the matter "destroyed her slowly from the inside," the other sibling has "vague memories" about the abuse and believes the positives about her father outweigh the negatives.

Crown prosecutor Leigh-Ann Bryson recommended a sentence of up to three years in prison, while defence lawyer Alan Ferrier called for a conditional sentence of up to a year-and-a-half.

Lynch rejected the conditional sentence suggestion, believing it doesn't provide punishment that's "measured and thoughtful."

In addition to the prison time, Lynch ordered the man to submit a DNA sample to the national databank and must register as a sex offender for life. He's also subject to a 10-year firearms prohibition.

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