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Reveller gets 15 months in jail for sexual assault

BY KEITH LACEY A man who sexually assaulted a developmentally challenged woman at the end of a 24-hour drinking binge last New YearÂ?s Eve was sentenced to 15 months in jail Tuesday.

A man who sexually assaulted a developmentally challenged woman at the end of a 24-hour drinking binge last New YearÂ?s Eve was sentenced to 15 months in jail Tuesday.

Court heard Joseph Kenneth Hector Dumont, 43, was found in bed with the woman, who, due to her mental challenge, canÂ?t speak and only communicates by hand gestures and facial expressions.

Dumont, who had no other criminal record with the exception of a dated drunk driving conviction, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault.

Assistant Crown attorney Alex Kurke told the court the victim was taken to hospital and there was no evidence of sexual penetration by Dumont. If there had been, the Crown would have asked for a much harsher penalty.

Justice Richard Del Frate, who ordered a publication ban on evidence which could identify the victim, echoed the same thoughts. He told Dumont, Â?You donÂ?t know how close you have come to being sent to the penitentiary for a lengthy period of time.

Â?We, as a society, canÂ?t accept actions of this nature, especially during an incident which involved a challenged victim.Â?

The sentence imposed comes on top of more than six months Dumont has spent in custody since his arrest New YearÂ?s Day.

Kurke told the court Dumont was part of a large group of people who planned on socializing and drinking New YearÂ?s Eve before sitting down to a midnight dinner.

The victim, an adult woman with the functioning capacity of a young child, and her elderly mother, were in attendance at the party. The party took place in a small town outside Sudbury.

Dumont and one male friend had been consuming large amounts of alcohol over a 24-hour period before the incident took place, court heard.

Dumont had never met the woman and or her mother until that evening.

During the evening, Dumont reached over and grabbed his victimÂ?s buttocks on three occasions and she responded by slapping and punching him on the arm, he said.

The party went back and forth between two apartments and sometime after midnight, Dumont was found alone in the bedroom with his victim engaged in a sexual act, said Kurke.

A male witness said the woman was making loud noises, trying to resist and crying uncontrollably, said Kurke.

When the womanÂ?s mother ran into the room, she saw her daughter naked and removed her from the area.

One male witness was going to take a baseball bat to Dumont and had to be restrained from doing so, said Kurke.

The victim was inconsolable for several hours, police were called and Dumont was arrested and has been in custody since, said Kurke.

Dumont is a divorced parent of one adult child. He has an excellent work record as a truck driver for almost 25 years, said his defence lawyer.

His client has no history of violence or sexual assault and considering heÂ?s already spent more than six months behind bars, an additional sentence of 12 months would be appropriate, he said.

Kurke said the Crown did factor in the fact there were many issues which would have been difficult to prove at trial, but the most serious aggravating factor is the serious handicap this victim suffered from.

Â?With a little more perseveranceÂ?we would have been looking at a long penitentiary term for a full-blown rapeÂ? against a mentally challenged woman, he said.

In all the circumstances, an additional sentence of 15 months is appropriate, said Kurke.

On top of the jail sentence, Del Frate ordered Dumont to submit a DNA sample for a national crime data bank, prohibited him from owning or possessing any prohibited weapon for 10 years, prohibited any contact with his victim or her family over two years of probation and told him to access any counseling for alcohol abuse his probation officer might recommend.