UPDATE: MARK ARCHIBALD
JAIL TERM SUBSTITUTED FOR HOUSE ARREST
FOR FORMER SUMMER CAMP MANAGER WHO
SEXUALLY ASSAULTED THREE BOYS COURT
CASE INVOLVED ‘TRULY UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES,’ APPEAL JUDGES SAY
By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald – June 29, 2012
The former head of a Christian summer camp will go to jail for historic sex crimes against three boys.
Mark Archibald, former manager of Camp Silversides, was originally sentenced to house arrest in February, but the Crown appealed the sentence to the Alberta Court of Appeal.
The higher court ruled in a decision dated Thursday that Archibald should spend 12 months in jail, minus the time he has already spent in house arrest.
“That’s what I wanted to see. I wanted to see jail time,” said “Jake,” one victim, who cannot be identified, who brought the complaint forward last year.
“For once, I’m happy with the decision the court has made.”
He and another victim had said in February they worried that the original house arrest sentence sent the wrong message for victims of historic crimes contemplating coming forward.
The court ruled that a victim impact statement from the first complainant, which showed the “traumatic, life-altering effect of this assault,” should have been taken into consideration in sentencing.
“There have been times I have had so much rage and self hate I would beat myself in the face with my own fists,” said the victim impact statement.
“I have had a problem with major depression for years as well and my faith that was once strong has been mostly absent in my life,” it reads.
“In the years that followed since the crime, I have lacked focus in my life. At last count I have had 17 different jobs.”
Archibald pleaded guilty to sexual offences ranging from touching a boy’s genitals to forced oral sex.
Had Archibald pleaded guilty years ago, his sentence could have started at four years, said the court.
The Crown was seeking three years in prison instead of the conditional sentence first imposed by Judge Thomas Schollie.
Dozens of people wrote letters of support for Archibald and the court decision said the case presented “truly unique circumstances, of a kind we have not seen before.”
“The case is unique because (Archibald) has led an exemplary life in the intervening 32 years, largely dedicated to serving others in the community,” it reads.
Archibald had to undergo surgery and needed several weeks to recover. He has 48 hours to surrender and go into custody.