R. v. Nygard – 10+ Years (Litigation Ongoing)
This upwards trend in sentencing has been seen in numerous cases released by various courts throughout the country in recent years. Former Canadian fashion mogul, Peter Nygard, is currently facing a considerable amount of time in prison after being convicted of four counts of sexual assault by an Ontario court in late 2023. Nygard is accused of using his position of power to invite young women to his office where he was said to have drugged and sexually assaulted them. The court will weigh the aggravating factors in the case, the nature of the assault and number of victims (four) with the mitigating factors in the case, including his age and health issues. Lawyers for the accused have indicated that he may face up to a double-digit prison sentence for his crimes, which he is set to be sentenced for in the coming months.
R. v. McKnight – 11 Years
In March of 2023, the Alberta Court of Appeal heard the case of R. v. McKnight, which involved a club promoter convicted of sexually assault five different women. Convicted in 2020, McKnight was sentenced to a period of eight years in prison for his crimes. The Crown originally sought a period of 15 years custody and appealed the eight-year sentence to Alberta’s highest court. In its unanimous decision, the three member bench increased McKnight’s sentence to 11 years in prison, indicated that the eight year sentence did not send a collective statement to McKnight and to the public, that our society has a basic code of values that cannot be violated. The Court indicated that the starting point for a major sexual assault is three years in custody and that given the repeated nature of Mr. McKnight’s behaviour and the numerous victims involved, an eight year sentence was not sufficient.
R. v. Ateyah – 9 Years
In November of 2023, an Ontario doctor was sentenced to nine years in prison in the case of R. v. Ateyah. In that case, the offender was convicted of sexually assaulting numerous patients at his clinic between 2008 and 2017.
R. v. Mendoza – 7.5 Years
In the 2023 case of R. v. Mendoza, the offender was convicted of sexually assaulting his young daughter’s 14-year-old friend and filming it. The Court heard evidence that the pair had met to engage in sexual activity on more than one occasion. Defence counsel for Mendoza argued that his client’s conduct did not amount to a “major sexual assault” because the young victim had been agreeable to the sexual activity, and because their relationship was a unique one that had developed over time. In its sentencing decision, the court indicated that counsel misunderstood the definition of a major sexual assault, noting that the young victim had been groomed. The court further reiterated that an individual who is 14 years old is legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity with an adult. Mendoza was subsequently sentenced to nine years in prison.
R. v. Rappaport – 5 Years
In another recent case from late 2023, a hockey coach was sentenced to almost five years in prison in the case of R. v. Rappaport. The accused, a former hockey coach, was convicted of one count of sexual interference, one count of sexual exploitation, and one count of invitation to sexual touching after allegations of a historical sex assault were brought to light by a former player who Rappaport coached between 2009 and 2011. In addition to his almost five-year prison sentence, the offender was also ordered to register as a sex offender and to provide a sample of his DNA to be held in the National Repository.