CALGARY – A Calgary judge has decided that federal legislation that prohibits conditional sentences for sexual assault offences should not be applied to a serial bum pincher.
Provincial court Judge Anne Brown said the objective of legislation was not to include such crimes.
"The Parliamentary intent is to address … serious violent offences that involve maximum penalties of 10 years or more and are indictable," Brown ruled as she sentenced Francisco Amaya to nine months house arrest and two years probation.
Amaya, who has prior convictions for seven similar incidents, grabbed a stranger’s buttocks inside a grocery store on in February of last year.
The Criminal Code prohibits conditional sentences for serious personal injury crimes, which are defined as indictable offences with a maximum of 10 years or more, or sexual assault offences.
But Brown said the wording flies in the face of comments made by federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson when changes to conditional sentence legislation were introduced.
She noted Nicholson repeatedly said it was the government’s intention to bar conditional sentences in cases of violent crimes where sentences of 10 years or more could be imposed.
"The legislation is not worded to reflect that," Brown said. "I view the minister’s comments as a very clear indication of Parliamentary intent."
Brown said while Amaya, 30, suffers from mental health issues related to his upbringing in El Salvador and a diagnosis of frotteurism, a condition in which he gets aroused by touching others.