Saturday, August 25, 2012

CANADA - Judge reserves sentencing decision in former cop's (Richard Dow) sexual assault convictions

Richard Dow
Original Article

UPDATE: Ex-Winnipeg cop convicted in sex assaults found dead in jail


A Winnipeg judge has reserved his decision in the sentencing of a former Winnipeg police officer who pleaded guilty to numerous sexual assaults earlier this year.

In May, Richard Dow pleaded guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault and one charge of simple assault in connection with a series of incidents involving a modelling business he ran.

At a sentencing hearing Aug. 24, the Crown asked for five years of prison time for Dow. Lawyer Marty Minuk said, “Mr. Dow was in a position of trust, and he violated that trust.”

Dow's lawyers asked for a conditional sentence of two years less a day. They requested Dow serve his time in the community under a curfew, as well as perform 240 hours of community service.

They said negative media coverage has ruined and humiliated Dow and served as a punishment in itself. The lawyers said the 58-year-old's sexual assaults were "brief and low level," adding that he was an "all around good guy in the community." The defence further argued he was unlikely to reoffend.

Victim impact statements were also heard in court on Friday.

One of the victims told CTV News she is hoping for a stiff sentence.

"House arrest and community service is a joke, and it's actually a slap in the face," she said.

The victim was 21 years old when she was sexually assaulted by Dow.

When you are that young, you feel super naïve and you have dreams. And there are definitely people out there who take advantage of it,” she said.

The woman is now 32 and still waiting for justice to be served.

The judge in the case has reserved his decision until Sept. 13, extending a lengthy court process.

In May, Dow entered his guilty plea and had 13 other sexual assault charges stayed. The case against him centered on 20 victims who alleged Dow sexually assaulted them over a period ranging from 2000 to 2005.

The victims ranged in age from 17 years old to 23 years old and most were assaulted at photo shoots at Dow’s home. Dow ran a side modelling agency while working for the Winnipeg Police Service.

On Friday, Dow was asked in court if he had anything to say. He told the judge he was humbled and extremely remorseful. He cried while saying, "I can only assure the court this will never happen again. I know I did wrong."

One of his victims said she doesn't believe Dow is sorry. "It made me sick to my stomach, actually," she said. "It's like tears of a crocodile. You're not upset that you stole the cookie out of the cookie jar, but you are upset you got caught."

In a separate case, Dow pleaded not guilty and was found not guilty of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman in May 2012, prior to this more recent trial involving 20 women.The maximum sentence for sexual assault is 10 years in prison.