Court house

The Penticton court house.

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A man found guilty of sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend was sentenced Friday in Penticton to three years behind bars.

The man, who cannot be named in order to comply with a publication ban on the identity of the victim, swore at the sheriff as he was led out of the court room in handcuffs.

Alongside his three year sentence, the man, who is not a Canadian citizen, will be required to register on the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for 20 years, supply a DNA sample, not own firearms for 10 years and have no contact with the victim or her family.

After serving his sentence, he will then be deported back to his home country.

The man was released on bail after being charged with sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend in her family home on Sept. 4, 2018 in Okanagan Falls. He was found guilty by a jury in May 2019 and once again released on bail.

“(He) has been living in a motel and struggling financially,” said B.C. Supreme Court Justice Karen Horsman. “He has also become socially isolated, going out into public only when necessary.”

These qualities, including self-starvation and refusing access to services in the community such as the food bank, derived from the man’s belief that he was the victim, court heard.

“(He) focuses on his belief that he has been wronged in this country …  (and) stated the reason he has not accessed community resources while on bail is that this is a small community, and he has been shamed and humiliated by the publicity that has surrounded this trial,” said Horsman.

Court heard the man shows little to no remorse for what he did.

“In the course of this sentencing hearing, (he) addressed the court. He apologized for the impact his behaviour has had on the complainant’s life and well-being. He stated that he loved the complainant very much. He does not believe he was taking advantage of her trust,” said Horsman.

But that statement, she said, was “somewhat couched in a continued focus on the impact that the criminal process has had on him.”

Horsman called the man’s actions “violent,” which involved forced confinement and deliberate disregard for her unwillingness to have sex with him, resulting in multiple injuries including bruising, tearing and scratch marks.

“The assault occurred in the complainant’s bedroom, in her own house, a place … the complainant should have felt most safe,” she said. “She weighs only 95 pounds, making her physically vulnerable to (him) and rendered it all the more important that her words be respected.”

The complainant and accused had been in a long-distance relationship for three years when the woman broke up with him via text message on Aug. 4, 2018.

Undeterred, he travelled to the Okanagan in late August, hoping to reconcile.

The complainant testified she told the accused repeatedly the relationship was over, and that he forced himself on her.

She then recounted a terrifying escape, in which she was rescued by a Good Samaritan when walking down the street while the accused followed at pace in his vehicle. She was given a ride by the Good Samaritan, who took her to the RCMP station. The two later discovered the man was following their vehicle on the way into Penticton.