P.E.I. man gets 2 years, 4 months for sexually assaulting teen girl

The Canadian Press
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Stephen Nicholas Taweel, a prominent businessman from Prince Edward Island looks at his smart phone as he waits for his sentencing at Supreme Court in Halifax on Thursday, August 14, 2014. Taweel was convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

HALIFAX — A prominent P.E.I. businessman has been sentenced to two years and four months in prison for incidents of sexual assault dating back more than 20 years.

Fifty-five-year-old Stephen Nicholas Taweel was found guilty earlier this year of failing to obtain the consent of a 14-year-old girl before a series of sexual encounters that took place in the Halifax area in 1991.

RELATED: Prince Edward Island businessman convicted of sexual assault in Nova Scotia

Justice Patrick Murray of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court says the sentence will send a strong message of deterrence.

The Crown recommended a sentence of three to four years in prison, while the defence argued he should be granted a conditional sentence.

Murray says the seriousness of the offence warrants a federal prison term.

Taweel is the president of Taweel Developments and Taweel Construction, and is also chairman of the Charlottetown Downtown Residents Association.

During his trial, Taweel denied touching the girl at a home in Dartmouth, N.S., testifying that they did engage in consensual sexual activity soon after they first met in P.E.I. earlier that year.

The legal age of consent at the time was 14, though Taweel said in court the girl had told him she was 16 years old.

The complainant, now in her 30s and whose identity is protected by a publication ban, described herself in court as a naive, timid and vulnerable girl who felt “trapped and confused” by a confident and persistent older man, Judge Patrick Murray said in his decision on Feb. 24.

She testified that she did not invite Taweel to touch her, but she felt “resigned to it” because she was terrified by a threatening tone that included warnings not to tell anyone what had happened, Murray said.

Organizations: Taweel Construction

Geographic location: P.E.I., HALIFAX, Charlottetown Dartmouth

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Recent comments

  • Andre'
    August 16, 2014 - 11:18

    He will be back soon, business will go on as always (hiring too construct) as with coffee shop dude; the downtown association will clearly express regrets he is no longer there, as too why so much of these things continue and/or start. No parenting; CFS stopping any that may make a difference when child be older.

  • Randy
    August 15, 2014 - 20:01

    Seriously, this is just supid after that long, I have kids that thought they wanted 20 year old benefits at 15. I did. It warrants a close look at maturity level and parenting ability too

  • Lisa
    August 14, 2014 - 23:36

    Maybe he should put his phone down and wipe that smile off his face! Sick pervert! I am happy it is over the 2 year mark and it puts him in the Federal system. I hope he enjoys it.

  • Fed up
    August 14, 2014 - 20:41

    "Enough already" are you even close to being serious?!?! What does Harper have to do with this story?!? This sick man?!? He certainly does deserve a prison term!! Sexual assault of a CHILD.....As"disgusted" says...a joke for his lawyers to say he has good standing...he has money...and, as such, thinks he can do anything and get away with it!

    • Peter Hyndman
      August 15, 2014 - 11:43

      Agree with "disgusted" and "fed up". It is still amazing to me that characteristics of greed, arrogance, cheapness and a feeling of self entitlement can produce such a creature. With any luck prison will wipe out some of this and his so called good standing. Kirkwood.

  • Charlottetown Residents Association Member
    August 14, 2014 - 18:05

    So, we lost our president and leader.

  • Justin Sanderson
    August 14, 2014 - 16:51

    The look on his face is disgusting to be smileing, really looks remorseful for what he did. I hope his inmates take that look away really fast. I personally think he should of got 10 years for this he Destroyed that poor girls life.

  • phil
    August 14, 2014 - 16:23

    After 24 years? makes one wonder the reason? If the guy was her age, that would be okay according to the law and one would assume okay with her. But there is a $2000.00 is most provinces for compensation ???? Hope she feels better now after all these years.

  • enough already
    August 14, 2014 - 15:59

    Before the Harper government reign of terror he would have received house arrest.

    • Jerry
      August 14, 2014 - 16:24

      Good thing we have Harper then...hope they put him in Gen Pop, they love pedophiles...

    • Ryan
      August 14, 2014 - 18:41

      Exactly! Hug-a-thug Liberal appointed judges and the old boys club would have seen to that. I hope Mr. Harper keeps it up. Jail time and fines that fit the crimes should be the order of the day. 3 cheers for a conservative Law and Order agenda!

    • Lindsay
      August 15, 2014 - 06:21

      That sounds like a good reason then that they came in power. House arrest for sexually assaulting a young girl??? Doesn't seem harsh enough for me. I'm glad he got federal time. More child abusers should get federal time!

  • disgusted
    August 14, 2014 - 14:12

    14 - 16 ????? Still a child to this monster. He should be put away. It's time his "good standing" in Charlottetown is questioned. Just because he has good standing means nothing! For his lawyer to even say that is a joke. If he is so "brilliant", perhaps he should have thought of his actions. Sickening!

    • However
      August 14, 2014 - 17:06

      Legally, still able to consent.

    • Jonathon
      November 07, 2014 - 18:07

      Really? I mean, really!? how does one rationalize that statement? She was fourteen...legally able to consent has nothing to do with the issue - this man was in his thirties..and a predator amongst us. Charlottetown, better yet PEI, should wash itself clean of him. He is a fraud - a wannabe pillar of the community and business tycoon. I do not want him in my community or near my family. He's to be watched. Hopefully justice prevails and he is rightfully incarcerated.