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4 comments

[–] womeninlove 4 points (+4|-0)

This is such a devastating one. He was out on parole for a similar offense when he abused this victim.

Text (because it may be behind a paywall for some):

Before Justice Nancy Mossip handed a Guelph person their sentence for sexually abusing a child, she had a few words for the victim.

"As with all sexual abuse victims, it is important that (the victim) knows (they are) believed ... Further, it is important for (the victim) to know that nothing (they) did had anything to do with why Ms. Weil abused (them). (They) did nothing to deserve the abuse," said the Superior Court Justice during the Sept. 22 hearing.

Mossip was issuing the sentence for Michael Arthur Weil, 45, who she found guilty of sexually assaulting a young child at a trial that ended in Nov. 2019.

A publication ban is in place preventing any details from being revealed that might indicate who Weil's victim was. To this effect, the victim's gender is left out of this report, along with details regarding their relationship with Weil, except to say they did not meet in a public setting.

Further, Mossip said that Weil had "formally commenced a change of gender procedure" after being found guilty in 2019, and so the defendant was referred to with female pronouns throughout the sentencing hearing. Weil was assigned male at birth, but will be referred to by her preferred pronouns in this article.

Due to COVID-19, sentencing was conducted using the Zoom video platform. While being sentenced, Weil could be seen in a T-shirt, laying in what appeared to be a bed with the covers pulled up. It also appeared that her eyes were closed for most of the decision. At one point the camera panned over to show a woman with dark hair beside her in bed. When Mossip read out that she was sentenced to nine years in prison, less two days for pretrial custody, Weil's eyes widened momentarily. It was the only time her lidded expression changed throughout.

The Superior Court Justice said there were several circumstances in the case that increased the duration of Weil's sentence: that the child she assaulted was under 18 (the judge said the abuse happened when the child was between the ages of four and six), that Weil had abused a position of trust or authority, and that the offender had a "significant impact on the victim considering their age and other personal circumstances ..."

There were other aggravating factors in the case that Mossip said she did not want to go into during the sentencing hearing, such as the circumstances of the abuse. Courts heard during trial that Weil showered with the victim, touched the child sexually, watched pornography with the child, and dressed the child in sexualized clothing.

**Weil had also previously pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and making child pornography with a seven-year-old in 2006. She had been released after serving seven months of a 13 month sentence, and committed the more recent sexual assault during 2007 - 2008, while still on probation. **

Weil was only arrested and charged after the victim went to high school, and told a trusted teacher about the abuse.

During the trial, Mossip said a victim impact statement was read by the Crown, that "sets out in detail the negative and long-lasting impact of the sexual assaults committed on (them) as a young child."

As per mitigating factors in the sentence, Mossip said only one was brought forward by the Crown: that Weil herself was abused as a child.

Weil has been married since 2016, to a woman she met in 2009. That woman has three children who live with a former partner. Weil's wife provided a statement of support; however, Mossip said that since she "does not believe that Ms. Weil committed the crime she's convicted of, (Weil's wife) is therefore not able to assist Ms. Weil in accepting responsibility for her conduct."

Assistant Crown Attorney Julie Forward initially asked for a 12-year sentence for Weil.

"The Crown submitted that denunciation and deterrence were the primary principles of sentencing, and that the principle of rehabilitation should take a, quote, 'back seat,'" Mossip said.

Weil was represented by Ben ElzingaChen from Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Bergman LLP. He had asked for a four- to eight-year-sentence for his client.

Mossip said ElzingaChen agreed that deterrence and denunciation were primary, but "submitted that rehabilitation of Ms. Weil still be in consideration by me in crafting a fit and just sentence."

Speaking after the hearing, Forward said that nine years for child sexual abuse "is a substantial sentence, but within the range of what we're seeing."

"It reflects the increasing understanding we have about the serious nature of child sexual assault. And I hope it provides some degree of comfort to the complainant," said the Crown.

ElzingaChen declined to comment when reached by phone.

As part of her sentence, Weil will submit a DNA sample, be barred from possessing weapons for life, have no contact with the victim while in custody, and be listed as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA), for life.

That judge also imposed a lifetime prohibition on Weil from visiting or working in places where a child could be reasonably expected to be found, such as schools, playgrounds, and community centres. Likewise, she has a lifetime ban on talking to anyone under 16, in any way, unless supervised by someone approved by the court.

Since the trial was conducted by video conference, Weil was not in court. Instead, she was told to turn herself into the Guelph Police Service by noon.

Guelph police confirmed that she did turn herself in.

As to if she will be attending a male or female prison, that decision is left to Correctional Services Canada.

"Correctional Services will employ a case management model to determine appropriate assessment, placement and other services," says its website.

"Trans inmates must be placed in an institution appropriate to their self-identified gender or housing preference, unless it can be proven that there are overriding health or safety concerns present, which cannot be resolved."

Attempts to contact the Solicitor General for further clarification have so far been unsuccessful.

Before the case was closed, Mossip had a message of hope for the child who was abused by Weil.

"Ms. Weil was solely responsible for the choices she made to abuse (the victim). I'm hopeful that with love and support (the victim) will at some point be able to not let these events define (them). Otherwise (they) remain Ms. Weil's victim for life," she said.

"I believe (the victim) is better than that, and (they) will lead a successful life."

[–] Carrots90 2 points (+2|-0)

“ But women rape too!”

This pisses me off on so many levels.