Alberton man sentenced to three years in prison for sexual assault

Colin MacLean
Published on May 15, 2014

Scales of justice

A 55-year-old Alberton man has been sentenced to three years in jail after being found guilty of four counts of sexual assault.

Richard James Dunville was sentenced Wednesday. He had previously been found guilty on Jan. 29, 2013. His sentencing had been delayed to allow for a pre-sentence report to be compiled.

Click here for a related story about the guilty verdict.

Dunville’s victim was a young woman who was known to him.

According to the previously reported facts, Dunville sexually assaulted the victim, performing various sex acts on her and attempting to have intercourse with her on one occasion, sometime between Nov. 30 and Dec. 31 of 2012, then again on March 1, 2 and 3 of 2013. During the fourth assault, he did manage to have intercourse with her briefly before being interrupted.

The victim testified the acts were not consensual and that she told Dunville throughout the assaults she didn't want to participate.

She also said she didn't report the first incident because she was scared and confused.

The incidents in March also went unreported until she shared what had happened with her friend.

It’s a case remarkable for all the wrong reasons, said Judge Jeff Lantz.

Usually when a person is found guilty or pleads guilty in a court of law, the judge will take into account some of the good things the accused has going for them when determining sentence.

Lantz said he couldn’t do that in this case.

“This is a rare case of there being no mitigating factors to speak of,” he said.

In fact, Dunville’s pre-sentence report was rather damning.

His likelihood of reoffending was deemed to be moderate to high.

When asked why he originally maintained his innocence and put his victim through the trauma of a trial, Dunville he said he’d “thought he could get away with it.”

He did not come from a broken home, and while he has had problems with alcoholism, he’d been improving in recent years.

He also has several previous convictions of assault and one case of sexual assault against a child on his record.

However, the report also pointed out he seems to have a greater understanding of his crime now than he had in the past. He reportedly told a counsellor he feels worthless and ashamed for what he did.

Dunville’s lawyer had requested that he receive a sentence of less than two years, which would have allowed him to stay on P.E.I. and close to his family.

The Crown had asked for a stiffer sentence of four years.