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Kootenay predator who molested ‘street-involved’ foster child jailed 5 years – BC News | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Warning: This story includes description of the sexual assault of a child. Discretion is advised.

A Kootenay man who molested a “street-involved” foster child after supplying her with hard drugs has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Kenneth John Harrison was sentenced by a BC Supreme Court justice in Nelson last month after being found guilty at trial of sexual interference and touching touching.

On the night of June 6 and 7, 2019, Harrison, who was 60 years old at the time, took 14-year-old A.B. to an “isolated” location and supplied her with methamphetamines and ketamine, which she had requested.

He then took her to two more isolated locations where he molested her orally, digitally and then had vaginal intercourse with her.

In her sentencing decision, Justice Lindsay M. Lyster noted the victim was “an extremely vulnerable girl” as a foster child who was engaged in “drug-seeking behaviour.”

“Mr. Harrison exploited A.B.’s vulnerabilities, which he was well aware of, for his own sexual gratification. His conduct was morally and legally reprehensible,” Lyster ruled.

Harrison, who is the father of six, proclaimed his innocence at trial and continued to claim to be falsely accused while speaking to doctors during pre-sentencing. He used vulgar and misogynistic language while describing his victim.

Justice Lyster described the testimony of A.B. at trial as “harrowing,” adding that she was “clearly traumatized” by the sexual assaults and being forced to take the stand to testify.

“I agree with Crown counsel that she showed remarkable resilience in pursuing this case to trial… I commend her for her courage, her tenacity, and her commitment to seeing that justice was done.”

Harrison had prior convictions between 1977 and 2012 for possession and trafficking in narcotics, assault, careless use of a firearm, and failure to comply with probation orders.

A pre-sentence report found Harrison had an average risk of sexual recidivism.

“Were he to reoffend, his most likely victim would be a vulnerable, street-entrenched, substance-involved adolescent female,” the decision says.

Crown prosecutors sought a six to seven year sentence while the defence argued for three.

“I find that the six to seven-year sentence proposed by the Crown would not be excessive, but, in light of Mr. Harrison’s age and health problems, is longer than appropriate in his individual circumstances,” Justice Lyster ruled.

Harrison recently lost an eye to cancer as well as some toes, which causes mobility issues.

In addition to the five-year sentence Justice Lyster handed down, Harrison will be barred from interacting with anyone under 16 for a decade after release and register as a sex offender for 20 years.

Harrison also received credit for just under eight months of prison time already served.

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