The trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting two women in White Rock more than six years ago was averted at the last minute by a guilty plea to one of the charges.
Jason Andrew Robinson entered the plea Monday morning – on the first day of what was scheduled to be a five-day trial – in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Prior to the plea, Judge Kenneth Ball asked Robinson if he understood what he was pleading guilty to and if it was his choice to do so.
“Your ability to appeal is greatly reduced by this plea,” Ball told the 35-year-old.
Acknowledging he understood, Robinson said one word when asked how he wished to plea: “Guilty.”
Robinson was ordered to stand trial last July, following a preliminary hearing in Surrey Provincial Court. During that proceeding, the judge heard evidence regarding two alleged assaults, both of which reportedly occurred in August 2007.
The victims – aged 25 and 33 at the time – told police they had been sexually assaulted at a White Rock residence by an acquaintance.
An arrest warrant was first issued that same year, however, difficulties locating the accused stymied the proceedings.
Monday, Robinson pleaded guilty to the assault against the younger woman, who is now 32. A publication ban protects her identity.
Crown Winston Sayson told Peace Arch News he expects the charge involving the then-33-year-old woman will be stayed.
He said the guilty plea was a surprise, but that it is better than going to trial.
“It’s guaranteed,” he said of the verdict. “Who can say no to a guilty plea?”
Sentencing submissions are to be heard Sept. 3. Sayson said he will argue for jail time.