Smithers courthouse. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Hazelton man gets two years for sex assault

The sentencing relates to events that occurred early in the morning on Jan. 2, 2017

A Hazelton man has been sentenced to two years less a day after pleading guilty to sexual assault.

During his sentencing Oct. 28, the Court heard how George Reid invited a number of individuals who were drinking in downtown Hazelton into his mother’s house where he was staying on Jan. 1, 2017.

The group came into the house and continued drinking.

The complainant said she had passed out for a period and when she woke up the only people in the house were her, Reid and his mother.

Shortly afterwards Reid left to go purchase more alcohol.

In an agreed statement of facts to the court he said that on the night in question he had drunk three 26-ounce bottles of 100-proof alcohol.

After Reid and the complainant continued to drink she passed out once again.

In the statement of facts they stated that when she woke up her shirt and sweater had been lifted over her chest, her bra was unhooked and her pants and underwear had been taken off.

She also described a painful sensation in her vaginal region.

A sex assault kit was completed at a hospital in Hazelton shortly afterward and on Jan. 4 police took Reid into custody where he voluntarily gave a statement and blood sample.

Results from the swab were a match to Reid’s DNA. Additionally there was human semen identified in the complainant’s underwear.

In addition to the jail time, Reid was sentenced to two years probation following his release.

As part of his probation conditions he must not make contact with the complainant and attend counselling programs as required by his parole officer.

In the judge’s decision she noted aggravating factors included that the woman was unconscious and that there was sexual penetration involved.

Conversely, she also noted mitigating factors included Reid’s admission of guilt and the fact that it spared his complainant, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, having to testify in court.

She also noted Gladue factors, Reid’s decrease in alcohol use and willingness to attend counselling for his substance abuse issues as additional mitigating factors.

In handing down the sentence the presiding judge wished Reid the best in making appropriate use of the time and added she hopes he is successful in dealing with his substance abuse issues.

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