(Warning: This story contains details that could be disturbing for some readers.)
A young Comox man will spend the next six months under house arrest for a couple of charges related to indecent exposure.
Judge Brian Hutcheson sentenced Adam Kassinen, 19, in Courtenay Provincial Court on Friday afternoon.
Kassinen was arrested in September in relation to two complaints last year, including one involving exposing himself to a minor. There is a ban on publication on the identification of the victims.
The first incident took place in Comox in June 2021, as Kassinen exposed himself for a sexual purpose to a girl aged 12 while she was riding a scooter in her neighbourhood. For this, he was charged with exposing his genitals to a person under 16.
The second incident happened in September in a parking area near a restaurant in Courtenay. Kassinen exposed himself and masturbated in a public place in front of a 21-year-old woman. He was arrested shortly after for committing an indecent act in a public place.
“These offences had such significant impact on the victims,” Hutcheson said.
Crown counsel John Boccabella was looking for consecutive sentences of six months and four months on each count, though with time-and-a-half credit for time in custody, this would have virtually covered the six months. This left the option of four months of further incarceration or a conditional sentence, as sought by defence lawyer Eric Chesterley.
“A conditional sentence is a prison sentence served at home,” he said.
The judge noted the severity of the offences, the possibility of re-offending, the effect on the victims and other aggravating factors against mitigating factors such as the fact the accused pleaded guilty, which saved the victims the need to testify, and he did not seek bail. Others included his age and a background including intellectual challenges. Ultimately, Hutcheson chose a 10-month conditional sentence on one count and time-served on the other.
For the conditional sentence, the first six months will be spent under house arrest, as Kassinen will have to remain at his family house except for approved outings in the company of family or other authorized person.
“He is not going to be outside the house on his own,” the judge said. “He’s going to be very closely monitored.”
Following the conditional sentence, Kassinen will be under curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. for the remaining four months of the conditional sentence and into his probation period, set for three years.
Part of the sentence includes no-contact orders with the two victims, as well as orders to stay out of the vicinity of the incidents, as well as locations frequented by children such as schools and parks. Kassinen is directed to follow any orders for counselling or other programming. He also has to provide a DNA sample and pay a $25 victim surcharge for each of the two counts.
As well, he had pleaded guilty to a previous parole breach. Rather than adding an additional day in custody, the judge suspended the sentence but added 25 hours of community service to be completed during the probation period.
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