A Prince George man will serve a further four-and-a-half months in jail for sexually interfering with a seven-year-old girl.
Rui Louis Ventura Araujo, 48, was issued a term Friday at the Prince George courthouse of 18 months in jail, less time already served, followed by three years probation for the July 25, 2012 incident.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jenkins reached the decision after hearing submissions from Crown prosecution and defence counsel who were respectively seeking two years and time already served for the jail term.
They agreed three years probation was appropriate.
In summarizing the incident, the court heard that Araujo had met the girl's aunt and grandmother in a local bar and he was invited to their home for a further drink sometime shortly after noon. The two women are elderly, as is the girl's grandfather who also lived in the home.
Araujo, who has a past conviction for a similar offence and is prohibited from being in the presence of a minor without his probation officer's permission, noticed the girl, told her she was pretty and complimented her on her pretty dress.
But a few moments later, Araujo had cornered the girl in a hallway away from the adults, rubbed her stomach, pulled on her dress and looked down the top. She yelled out "no, stop!" and began to cry.
The women quickly removed her from the home while the man tried to get Araujo to leave. But he refused and instead sat on the couch fondling a pair of panties he had found in the laundry. Several other pairs were found in the home's bathroom where Araujo had also been.
Jenkins agreed with defence counsel's assertion that Araujo's actions were not planned or premeditated but still found them troubling.
"My concern here is how spontaneous Mr. Araujo's actions were," Jenkins said when giving reasons for sentencing. "Within minutes of having entered the home, he realized there was a young girl, ends up with her in a corner although there were adults nearby and starts to touch her."
Jenkins also said the victim has undoubtedly experienced considerable emotional harm and noted that, according to her victim impact statement, she has a fear of men, won't go into her bedroom and continues to sleep with family members and is worried about what will happen when Araujo is out of jail.
That may not be a problem. Araujo, who has lived in Canada since age seven, is the subject of a deportation proceeding back to his native Portugal, the court also heard.
Araujo had refused to cooperate with psychiatrists responsible for compiling a pre-sentence report and has maintained his is not guilty. Although he showed a lack of remorse and insight into his actions, it was also noted he suffers a mild cognitive impairment due to a head injury at age four.
Alcohol was also a significant factor in his lack of judgment, the court heard.
Jenkins said denunciation and deterrence were the prime reasons for deciding to keep Araujo behind bars, rather than letting him out with time served. The probation includes several conditions including staying away from minors and abstaining from alcohol.