From: Traci Steele on

By Frances Barrick, Record staff

KITCHENER — A Cambridge man convicted of molesting two girls about 30
years ago will learn today whether he will go to jail or serve his
sentence at home.

After hearing sentencing submissions from lawyers Tuesday, Justice
Robert Reilly said he needed time to consider a sentence for a man who
he said has led an unblemished and commendable life apart from being
convicted of “two very serious charges.”

Earlier Tuesday, the judge commented that the majority of pedophiles can
be described as being productive members of society.

Last February, Reilly convicted the 60-year-old man based on the
evidence of two sisters who lived beside the Cambridge man in the 1970s
and early 1980s. They said their neighbour molested them in the basement
family room of his home numerous times while they were there to play
with his infant daughter.

A court order prevents the publication of any information — including
the man's name — that may identify the victims.

On Tuesday, the two women, who were between eight and 12 when they were
inappropriately touched, read their victim-impact statements in court.

The older sister said she came forward 30 years later to protect other
children. While she appears fine on the outside, she said she still
suffers emotionally and feels guilty that she did not protect her
younger sister from the man's advances.

She said she is in constant fear that her own daughters may be molested
like she was by a man she trusted, which hinders their ability to enjoy
their own childhood.

When a man grabs her hand or comes close to her she said she has
flashbacks of the attacks she suffered.

The younger sister said she is disgusted by the man's lack of remorse
and no longer trusts people. She said she has built a wall around
herself, keeping her loved ones at bay, which has hurt her marriage.

In asking for a penitentiary sentence for the man, Crown prosecutor Mike
Townsend called the numerous attacks on the girls “an extremely
intrusive offence” that escalated in severity from tickling to touching
their breasts.

Townsend said their assailant was a neighbour, a family friend who they

“He took advantage of that trust. He took advantage of their
vulnerability,” he said.

The man “does not accept he did anything wrong here … he shows
absolutely no remorse,” Townsend said.

Defence lawyer Mark Parrott of Cambridge said his client has no criminal
record and the offences date back 30 years.

A psychological report shows the man is at a low risk to reoffend, said
Parrott, who is asking for a house arrest for his client.

But Townsend pointed out that the same report described the man as a
person with a high degree of self-importance and a tendency to deny
personal shortcomings.

Parrott said news reports of the man's trial have “soiled and tarnished
his reputation in the community,” even though his name was only
published once when he was initially charged by police.

“He deeply believes he did nothing wrong,” Parrott said.