Former City of Belleville employee, Cecil Courneyea, will finish the sentence originally given him after being found guilty on two counts of sexual assault against a woman in 2014.
The sex assaults involved a woman who knew Courneyea and was having difficulties in her life. A co-worker had suggested Courneyea could help her.
The two then entered an informal, unprofessional, “therapeutic relationship” and the assaults occurred in 2013.
Courneyea appealed the convictions, but was found guilty again last month and was sentenced today (Monday, December 5, 2016).
Originally, the judge sentenced him to 18 months conditional arrest plus 3 years probation.
The Crown wanted a one year jail term, but the judge was concerned about 63-year-old Courneyea’s many health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension, including ongoing issues with his heart.
Today (Monday), Mr. Justice Geoff Griffin told the court he would not have given a conditional sentence if he were the judge at the original trial, saying that such sentences didn’t provide strong enough denunciation and deterrence considering the seriousness of the offences.
However, the judge did say that neither the Crown nor Courneyea’s defence lawyer appealed the sentence as being “unfit”, so since Courneyea still had several medical issues and there was no change to the facts in the case, he was bound by precedent to continue with the original sentence.
This means Courneyea will serve another 8 months of a conditional sentence plus 3 years’ probation after that.
The first 2 of the 8 months will see Courneyea having to stay at home unless out for work, appointments, or medical emergencies. Work and appointments must be cleared by a supervisor.
After that, he will have to be at home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day, and continue to see a supervisor and meet several other conditions.
The Crown had asked for 5 months of incarceration for Courneyea.
In her victim impact statement, the woman stated “you took my trust, you took my self-esteem, and all you did was enter my home and sexually assault me”.
Also in the statement, the woman wrote that she had become a stronger person and would not let the events ruin her life.
Mr. Justice Griffin said that although he would much prefer some jail time for such offences, he was certain that Mr. Courneyea’s life had been shattered by all of the publicity surrounding the case.
Courneyea lost his job with the City of Belleville in 2014.