The judge sentencing a Queen’s University student and hockey player who assaulted a teenage girl at a house party delayed the man’s sentence so that it wouldn’t interfere with his summer internship.
Chance Macdonald, 22, pleaded guilty to common assault in April after he was initially charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement following a 2015 party. Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis said Macdonald’s victim accepted the lesser plea in part because she didn’t want to face a trial and the possibility of being disbelieved in court.
According to the Kingston Whig-Standard, Macdonald, then a player on Gananoque Islanders Junior C hockey team, wasn’t sentenced until last week because his lawyer argued a criminal record would ruin his four-month internship, which he needed to continue on as a Queen’s business student. Despite the Crown’s protests that the victim deserved closure, Justice Allan Letourneau sided with the defence and waited until last week to hand down Macdonald’s sentence of 88 days of intermittent jail on weekends and two years of probation.
Comments made by the judge throughout the proceedings and reported by theWhig-Standard suggest that he felt a large degree of empathy for Macdonald. Like Macdonald, Justice Letourneau graduated from Queen’s and played hockey.
He said the plea deal was “the right way to go in all respects.” He praised Macdonald on his excellence “in employment, in athletics, and in academics.” He noted, “I played extremely high-end hockey and I know the mob mentality that can exist in that atmosphere.” He told Macdonald he had significant confidence that “you will almost certainly never put yourself in this situation again,” describing the assault as a “fork in the road.”
On the flip side, most of Justice Letourneau’s warnings to Macdonald seemed to focus on how the business student may have ruined his future prospects.
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