N.B. man sentenced for sexual assaults on 4-year-old girl

CBC News Posted: Mar 26, 2008 12:36 PM AT Last Updated: Mar 26, 2008 4:54 PM AT


A Grand Falls, N.B., man was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl.

Curtis Brent Hathaway, 28, was found guilty on two charges of assault and sexual assault on Jan. 31 after a trial in New Brunswick provincial court in Woodstock.

Hathaway faced a maximum of 10 years for sexual assault, and five years for assault. The identity of the child is protected by court order.

At sentencing, Judge Bridget Sivret described Hathaway as a man with a violent past and a bad temper.

Sivret said Hathaway sexually assaulted the girl on several occasions during a three-month relationship with the girl’s mother. The assaults all happened while the mother was asleep.

The judge also noted that Hathaway has said he was the victim of sexual assault as a child, and has never received counselling to deal with the abuse.

Sivrit said she took into account victim impact statements filed by the girl’s foster mother on her behalf when passing sentence. The girl, who is now seven years old, used words and drawings to convey her feelings.

In her decision, Sivret said the girl “has been suffering physically and emotionally since the assault took place, and will most definitely continue to bear a burden of pain and suffering for many years. The accused destroyed her childhood and broke her spirit.”

Outside court, a relative of the victim — who can’t be named in order to protect the identity of the child — told reporters this decision will help their family heal.

“It’s very painful, it’s like reliving it over and over and over again. We’ve never got closure on this, so this is a start. We’re in therapy,” she said.

The judge said she didn’t hand Hathaway the maximum sentence for these crimes because she hopes Hathaway can be rehabilitated, even though he previously hasn’t accepted any psychological help.

Last year, Hathaway was found not guilty of criminal negligence in the death of another Woodstock-area girl. Two-year-old Juli-Anna, the daughter of his former girlfriend, Anna-Marie Mooers, died from complications from a perforated bowel.

An autopsy found that a plastic pencil-shaped toy, nine centimetres long and one centimetre in diameter, had been inside the child for two or three days and had caused the perforation.

Mooers was found guilty on the same charge and was sentenced to 27 months.