By Linda Richardson, Sault Star – Feb 20, 2013
A young man was imprisoned for a year Wednesday for having sex with two 15-year-old girls he met on Facebook.
Allan Smythe-Lance, 24, pleaded guilty to sexual interference – touching two persons under the age of 16 with a part of his body for a sexual purpose.
The one-year jail term, imposed by Ontario Court Justice Nathalie Gregson, is the mandatory minimum sentence for the offence.
It is in addition to the time he has spent in custody since his arrest in September.
The court heard the offences occurred in Sault Ste. Marie between July 1 and Sept. 6.
A publication ban protects the identity of the victims.
Smythe-Lance started a relationship with the first victim after they met through social media.
He gave the girl a false name and age – she believed he was 18 years old, prosecutor Nancy Komsa said.
They had sex on two occasions and that relationship ended when he began dating another 15-year-old girl he also met on Facebook, the assistant Crown attorney said.
Smythe-Lance had intercourse twice with the second girl with her consent, Komsa said.
Defence counsel Jennifer Tremblay-Hall said her client is remorseful and would like to move forward with his life.
He has had no contact with his mother for years, never knew who is father was, and was raised by his grandmother, who passed away in the spring, she said.
“He’s 24 and he’s managed to have four children with four different mothers,” Tremblay-Hall.
The Crown and defence jointly proposed the sentence, which will be followed by a two-year probation period.
“The court has to look at deterrence and denunciation,” said Komsa.
The lawyers also asked the judge to recommend that Smythe-Lance serve his time at the Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI), a treatment centre for sex offenders, located in Brampton.
The centre has a “program that would benefit Mr. Smythe-Lance for the types of charges he has on his record,” Komsa said.
In addition to Wednesday’s offence, Smythe-Lance was convicted of a sex offence in 2007.
“I want to apologize for my actions,” he told the judge. “Hopefully, if I go (to OCI). I won’t be coming back to the court system.”
Gregson responded that he’s amassing quite a record for a 24-year-old – a record involving young and vulnerable people.
“It is important you focus on the treatment you are going to receive,” she said, making the recommendation that he serve his sentence at OCI.
The judge said that because of his youthful age there is still time to rehabilitate Smythe-Lance
Citing his remorse and guilty plea, she also noted the court didn’t have to have a trial and the victims were spared from testifying.
During his probation, he must take any follow-up recommended counselling and can’t cease counselling without his probation officer’s consent.
Because he has prior conviction for a sex offence, Gregson ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.
He must provide a DNA sample for the national database and is banned from possessing weapons for 10 years.