A man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman seven years ago in White Rock “honestly thought that she was consenting.”
And that element of “victim blaming” – identified in reports cited during sentencing submissions in B.C. Supreme Court last week – is just one of the reasons why Jason Andrew Robinson deserves jail time for the crime, prosecutor Winston Sayson said.
Robinson pleaded guilty this past June to the Aug. 31, 2007 assault, nearly a year after he was ordered to stand trial.
On Sept. 3, Sayson asked Justice Robert Crawford to impose a two-year sentence, followed by two years probation and 20 years on the sex-offender registry.
Defence counsel John Douglas – who asked to have his arguments heard on Nov. 17 – told Peace Arch News he will argue for a conditional sentence of 18 months to two years.
Douglas said there’s “no question” his client took advantage of the victim.
“You don’t have to get somebody to sign a consent, but you better be sure they’re in a position to consent,” he said.
The court heard the early-morning assault on the 25-year-old victim occurred after she went to the beach with Robinson and friends around 2 p.m., then to a pub, home for dinner and to the Sandpiper Pub, around 7 p.m.
Over the course of the day, the victim consumed at least seven doubles, while Robinson drank beer, the court heard.
Sayson said the woman headed home alone from the pub – where Robinson worked as a cook – around 11 p.m. and went to bed.
“She was quite drunk,” Sayson told the court.
The assault occurred about four hours later.
“She had her clothes on when she went to sleep. She was awoken by something and found herself naked, and the accused standing in front of her, also naked,” Sayson said.
Robinson was holding the woman’s left leg up and she “felt… as if she’d had sex,” Sayson said.
The victim remembers yelling at Robinson to leave, then going back to sleep. She awoke at 2 p.m., showered and went to work. After telling her boyfriend – who was in the Maritimes – what happened, the victim and a male friend confronted Robinson. He denied the assault, and was not seen again by the victim until preliminary proceedings in Surrey Provincial Court last year.
Sayson argued that expert reports show Robinson “is in a state of denial (and) frequently, he points to alcohol or cocaine as the reason why he does certain things.
“The accused clearly is in need of intervention by way of court-sanctioned counselling.”
In a brief victim-impact statement read by Sayson, the woman – who did not attend the latest proceedings and who cannot be identified – said the assault caused her to lose her trust of men, have trouble with relationships and turn to alcohol to block out memories of what happened.
“This affected my whole family,” she writes.