© Guardian photo
Prince Edward Island provincial court
A Charlottetown man who said his sexual relationship with an underage girl about 15 years younger than him was consensual was sentenced Friday to serve seven years in prison.
Shane Douglas Doucette, 29, appeared before Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and failing to appear in court.
In handing down the sentence, Orr said Doucette knew his actions were wrong and he tried to deflect the blame away from himself.
Doucette contact with the victim started with inappropriate conduct toward her when she was eight-years-old when he told her "if you show me yours I'll show you mine."
It escalated over the years until Doucette was having sexual intercourse with the victim on a regular basis.
At times he protected the victim from others, but he also beat her and threatened her in order to keep her from telling anyone about what was happening.
Doucette showed little emotion as he sat in his jail sweat suit with his head down and hands between his legs throughout the proceedings while Orr read out the details of his offences.
That included statements he made to police, during which he said he was having a consensual sexual relationship with the victim and age was just a number.
Orr responded by saying there was nothing normal about an 11-year-old and a 25-year-old having sexual intercourse regularly.
She also said Doucette's attitude went against social norms and his saying age was only a number was "completely incomprehensible".
In 2008 the police interviewed Doucette about possible inappropriate conduct with the victim, which was before he started having sexual intercourse with her.
Orr said instead of stopping when no charges were laid, Doucette escalated what he was doing to the victim.
In trying to determine an appropriate sentence, Orr said she didn't find any cases that were similar to Doucette's.
"These facts, fortunately, are not common," she said.
While his case was before the courts, Doucette also missed a court date and went to Toronto where he was arrested and brought back to P.E.I.
Orr said Doucette committed horrendous offences and posed a significant danger to the public.
She then sentenced him to serve seven years in prison for invitation to sexual touching, seven years for sexual interference and four months for failing to attend court, all to be served concurrently.
Along with the prison sentence, Doucette will have to provide a DNA sample for the national databank, he will have a weapons prohibition and will have his name added to the sex offender registry.
Upon his release from custody Doucette will also have restrictions in place to avoid people under the age of 16.
A publication ban prevents the release of any details that could identify the victim.