WARNING: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault, and could negatively affect someone who has experienced similar trauma.
An Oliver man found guilty of multiple sexual offences that victimized a developmentally delayed minor will spend 10 years in jail for his crimes.
Regis Patrick Palmer, 66, appeared in Kelowna’s Supreme Court on July 6 to hear his fate from Justice S.A. Donegan, who convicted Palmer in February after a trial.
Justice Donegan found that Palmer had sexually assaulted the child multiple times after they met in 2009 up to 2015, from when the child was around 12-years-old up until they were about 18 or 19.
Palmer was also found guilty of making and possessing child sexual abuse material.
Justice Donegan sentenced Palmer to 2,893 days in jail for the sexual assaults, followed by 730 days for making child sexual abuse material. The possession charge received a one-year sentence that will be served at the same time as the others.
Palmer only received 27 days credit for time served towards his combined 10 year sentence.
During the trial, the Justice found that Palmer’s testimony was contradictory, and that he went off into tangents or attempted to provide impossible explanations for the incriminating evidence provided.
The victim, who is protected under a publication ban, testified that they could not recall how many times Palmer had sexually abused them, only that it happened regularly over the multiple-year period. The Justice noted Crown’s point that it would be difficult for any person to count how many times they were abused if they were facing it with such regularity.
“His account of the sexual abuse was extremely detailed, earnest, matter-of-fact, and compelling. … His demeanour and body language during his interviews supported his verbal expressions that he was trying hard to remember details, that he was having unpleasant experiences when he recalled those details, and he actually seemed to be reliving some of those experiences,” reads the February judgement. “He had visible and genuine reactions when looking at the sanitized versions of the nine photographs of him.”
In addition to the sexual acts that Palmer performed with his victim, he photographed and kept photographs of his victim’s genitals up until he was arrested in 2018.
At the end of the day, Justice Donegan found Palmer’s “blanket denials of all of the allegations, when considered in light of the totality of the evidence, … simply incapable of belief…”
In addition to the jail sentence, Palmer received a 10-year sexual offender prohibition, which under the Canada Criminal Code includes bans on being at public parks, swimming pools, daycare centre, school ground, playground or community centre where minors may be, seeking employment or volunteer in any position that would put him in a position of trust or authority towards a minor, having any contact with any person under the age of 16 without supervision and using the Internet outside of court set conditions.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. See the sexual assault fact sheet provided by Victim Services and Crime Prevention. You can also call your local police or VictimLinkBC for information and support.
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