A B.C. Court of Appeal has more than doubled the sentence of a man who sexually abused his own daughter for 13 years.
A panel of three judges unanimously decided the man was afforded too much compassion when he was sentenced in 2008 to two years in prison for the prolonged abuse.
The panel sentenced the man — referred to as O.M. to protect his daughter’s identity — to five years in prison.
The acts began when the child was two years old and continued until she was 15. The abuse progressed to sexual intercourse by the time the girl reached six years of age. The girl reported that between the ages of 11 and 14, her father abused her on average five days a week, three weeks out of the month.
O.M. pleaded guilty and showed genuine remorse, according to court documents.
In the 2008 trial, the judge noted O.M., who had been abused as a child himself, felt genuine remorse and was willing to pursue therapy.
But the appeal court judges, in a ruling last week, said the original conviction didn’t consider the length of time he had abused his daughter.
In their decision, the judges also considered the age of O.M.’s daughter was first subject to the abuse, and that this was his second conviction.
O.M. began the sexual abuse of his daughter before the end of the probationary period for the first offence.
The panel said the sentencing judge in November 2008 was so “moved by compassion for his antecedents and impressed with his steady work record and commitment to therapy, she chose a sentence at the low end of the range.”
His sentence of two years less a day was “an unsatisfactory response to an egregious crime and is . . . unfit,” it continued.
O.M. “needed to protect his daughter, not give way to his deviant impulses, and to make every effort to bring the cycle [of abuse] to an end,” they continued.
“There must have been many times throughout the 13 years of abuse that the respondent’s conscience troubled him, yet he persisted.”