Vancouver man convicted of sexually assaulting eight-year-old girl on beach gets two years
Scales of Justice statue at BC Supreme Court in Vancouver Thursday, May 5, 2016. (Photo by Jason Payne/ PNG)
A man who was convicted of sex offences against an underage girl at a Vancouver beach three years ago has been sentenced to two years in jail.
In August last year, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper found David Alan Lessor, 49, guilty of sexual assault and sexual interference of the eight-year-old girl at Acadia Beach at the University Endowment Lands on July 1, 2014.
In imposing sentence on Lessor on Thursday, the judge said the aggravating factors for him included a prior conviction in 2005 for sex offences against two underage girls for which he received a conditional sentence.
“Mr. Lessor’s actions here were predatory and opportunistic,” said the judge. “In respect of moral blameworthiness, I find that the offence was very grave.”
The judge imposed a sentence of two years and three months in jail, reduced to two years, 1 1/2 months after giving him credit for pre-sentence custody.
She ordered Lessor to remain on the sex-offender registry for life and banned him from attending public parks and swimming areas where persons under age 16 are present.
The Crown had called for a two-year jail term. Lessor, who fired his lawyer after he was convicted and represented himself at the sentencing hearing, had called for a lower sentence.
The offender, who interrupted the judge several times as she read out her reasons for sentencing and was ordered to remain silent at one point, made a spectacle of himself after the sentencing. He told the judge that the “God of spiritual law” had passed a sentence on him and found him not guilty.
“My God will send his angel ahead of me to deliver me from your hands, from your government,” he said. “Jesus Christ is coming.”
As a sheriff placed handcuffs on him and led him away, he shouted: “Hallelujah, hallelujah! Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus!”
Court heard that shortly after the girl, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, and her mom had arrived at the beach, Lessor came by and sat with them, beginning a conversation with them.
When the mom left to retrieve some items from her van in the parking lot, Lessor lifted the girl’s dress high enough to show her bathing suit. Reaching between her legs from behind, he wiped or swiped the part of her bathing suit that covered her vagina and her buttocks.
In a victim-impact statement, the girl said that she felt like she was going to cry when she talked about the incident and added she thought Lessor knew what he was doing.
Outside court Thursday, Crown counsel Kristin Bryson said she commended the victim and her mother for their courage in coming forward and reporting the crime, and for maintaining their resolve throughout the lengthy proceedings.
“I also commend the RCMP for their thorough investigation into this matter and the manner in which they dealt with the young victim. Our courts handled this challenging matter involving a very difficult defendant in an exemplary manner,” Bryson said.