Sentencing adjourned in sexual assault case

Ryan Ross
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The judge has adjourned sentencing until Feb. 11 to consider the facts of a case where a man raped a woman he met on an online dating service.

A woman who was raped by a man she met through an online dating website says she considered committing suicide after what happened to her.

She made the remarks in P.E.I. Supreme Court Friday where she read a victim impact statement during sentencing for 32-year-old Jeffrey Lea Hogg who in October was found guilty of sexual assault.

The woman, whose name can’t be released because of a publication ban, told the court she had nightmares after the sexual assault.

“I felt dirty,” she said.

Hogg and the victim met through online dating service Plenty of Fish after she moved back to P.E.I. from B.C. to take care of her ailing parents.

The two were supposed to go for a walk on the beach on their second date, but instead drove to a field where they kissed and got into the backseat of Hogg’s truck.

It was there that he raped her.

The victim sobbed as she read her victim impact statement and said her doctor gave her sleeping pills, which she still takes because if she doesn’t her nightmares will come back.

Hogg pleaded not guilty to the August 2011 offence and a preliminary inquiry was held in June 2012.

The victim had to testify during the preliminary inquiry and said it felt like being raped all over again.

She also said she considered suicide and feels like running to hide but there is no place to go.

“I felt like my life was over,” the victim said.

In making her sentence recommendation, Crown attorney Lisa Goulden said the victim didn’t report the rape for two months because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.

“This is not an uncommon belief,” Goulden said.

It wasn’t until the victim’s niece told her she met a man on Plenty of Fish that she confided in her niece.

Hogg went by the profile name “Easygoingguy11” on the dating site and told the victim his name was Chris MacDonald.

He also went by the name Chris Diamond.

A pre-sentence report Hogg requested showed he was in a relationship while he was using the dating site to meet women.

Goulden recommended a prison sentence of two to three years.

Hogg also has a previous criminal record, including two counts of impersonating a peace officer.

Defence lawyer Mitch MacLeod said his client didn’t have an extensive or related criminal record.

MacLeod said Hogg’s current relationship appears positive and the woman he is in the relationship with was in court Friday.

Hogg wasn’t remorseful in relation to the sexual assault because he maintained that he didn’t do it, MacLeod said.

He also said there was no serious injury or violence and no evidence Hogg planned the sexual assault.

MacLeod recommended a sentence of 16 to 18 months in jail along with a period of probation with restrictions.

Hogg will have to provide a DNA sample for the national databank and will be on the sex offender registry for 20 years.

Justice Ben Taylor said he needed time to consider the submissions and adjourned sentencing until Feb. 11.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Geographic location: B.C.

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