A Halifax man who sexually abused a girl hundreds of times over a six-year period has been sentenced to 6½ years in a penitentiary.
Stanley Robert Lowther, 39, apologized to the victim and asked for her forgiveness Monday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.
“Sorry is not enough,” Lowther said. “There’s nothing I can do to take it back.
“I pray that you can receive all the healing you can and that you’ll have an abundance of joy coming up in your life.”
Lowther also apologized to his family, the soccer community and the Halifax Christian Academy, where his children attend school and he coached soccer.
Lowther closed his eyes, trembled and cried as Justice Arthur LeBlanc gave his sentencing decision.
The judge said Lowther committed a crime of extreme violence and caused tremendous psychological harm to the victim, whom he “treated like a sex toy.”
“You refused to stop, even when she was crying out in pain,” LeBlanc said.
“It must be clear to everyone that such conduct as Mr. Lowther involved himself in cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Lowther pleaded guilty last June to a charge of sexual assault. The sentencing hearing got underway Jan. 16, with the judge reserving his decision after a long, emotional day and remanding Lowther to the Dartmouth jail.
Lowther began assaulting the girl in April 2005, when she was 12.
The frequency of the assaults increased from once a month to several times a week as the girl got older.
Lowther played on the girl’s religious beliefs to get her to comply with his sexual demands. He told her he loved her and that God approved of their relationship.
The manipulation continued until December 2011, when the young woman, then 18, opened up to her mother. Lowther went to the police station a few days later and confessed to his crimes.
He was arrested and charged last January.
There is a publication ban on any information that would identify the complainant.
The abuse was not related to Lowther’s volunteer work coaching children’s soccer, which he had to give up after his arrest.
The victim, now 19, read a gut-wrenching impact statement to the court Jan. 16.
“My life has been a sadistic, horrific nightmare,” the young woman said. “I have been used and abused, pillaged and raped, sodomized and heartlessly tortured, violated and violently wounded. I have been tormented by a sick, perverted demon more terrifying and vile than I could have imagined.
“I have been hurt so badly. I feel broken. And, from now on, I am forced to fight an uphill battle to fix and regain the life that was stolen from me.”
A clinical psychologist who specializes in sexual offender assessment and treatment testified that Lowther poses a moderate risk to commit further sexual offences. She said penile testing revealed that he has an equal sexual interest in pubescent and adult females.
Crown attorney Rick Woodburn sought a prison sentence of eight years, while defence lawyer Peter Planetta suggested two years behind bars and two years’ probation.
The judge decided on 6½ years and recommended that Lowther receive sexual offender treatment while he is in the federal prison system.
After Lowther’s prison term expires, he will have to register as a sex offender for 20 years, stay away from parks, schools and other places frequented by children for 14 years and will be prohibited from having firearms for 10 years.
LeBlanc also ordered him to provide a sample of his DNA for a national databank.
Woodburn said it is one of the worst cases of sexual abuse on a child that he has seen in his 14 years as a prosecutor.
“Mr. Lowther’s expression of remorse was hollow in the face of his predatory nature, his use of manipulation and his use of God in order to sexually assault a young, vulnerable woman,” the prosecutor said.
A Halifax man’s sentencing for molesting a girl over a period of more than six years has been delayed until next week.
Stanley Robert Lowther, 39, pleaded guilty last June to a charge of sexual assault. He was supposed to be sentenced Friday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax but the hearing was adjourned until Wednesday because the judge has been sick.
The Crown is seeking a lengthy federal prison sentence for Lowther.
Lowther began sexually abusing the girl in April 2005, when she was 12. The abuse continued until December 2011, when the young woman reported it to a family member and police were called.
Police arrested Lowther last January and charged him with six offences – single counts of sexual assault and common assault and two counts each of sexual interference with a child under the age of 16 and sexual exploitation.
The complainant’s identity is banned from publication. The abuse is not related to Lowther’s volunteer work coaching children’s soccer, which he had to give up after he was arrested.
Lowther remains free on the condition that he has no contact with the victim and her family. He’s also prohibited from going within 50 metres of playgrounds, schoolyards and other places frequented by children and from having contact with any child under the age of 16 unless a guardian is present.
BY STEVE BRUCE COURT REPORTER
January 11, 2013 – 12:50pm
January 11, 2013 – 1:19pm