October 30th, 2020

Woman who dragged young boy by dog leash avoids jail


By Shurtz, Delon on November 26, 2019.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A woman who dragged her boyfriend’s young son by a dog leash has avoided jail, but will be confined to her home for several months.

Dexine Allison Sara pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a weapon and was handed an eight-month conditional sentence, the first four months of which will be served under house arrest. During the remaining four months she must obey a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day.

Additional charges of unlawful confinement and assault were withdrawn.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown prosecutor Erin Olsen told court Sara treated the boy “like a dog” to teach him lessons about what it would be like to be a dog.

“She tied (him) up with a dog leash around the waist and dragged him around by the leash until they ultimately ended up in the garage of the residence,” Olsen explained.

While in the garage the boy’s father allegedly held him by the dog leash and sat him on a bucket while he and Sara tied the boy’s hands behind his back.

“When (the boy) cried and asked his father to let him go, his father refused,” Olsen said. “When Ms. Sara returned to the garage, (the boy) asked her to let him go, and she responded by covering his mouth with duct tape.”

Sara also used a computer tablet to show the boy pictures of dead dogs. Although he didn’t know why he was shown the pictures, his sister told her mom and police Sara used the videos to show her brother what could happen if he let her dog loose in the front yard of their home.

The girl, Olsen added, had bruises on the sides of her legs and on her stomach, which the little girl said her father caused to punish her.

The boy had what appeared to be a rope burn on his neck, consistent with being rubbed by a dog leash, as well as an abrasion on his wrist, consistent with being tied up with a dog leash.

His injuries, however, were more than physical, Olsen pointed out.

“He has been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety as a result of these assaults.”

He also had pre-existing learning difficulties and behavioural disorders, which have been compounded by the assaults, Olsen said.

Following her conditional sentence, Sara will be on probation for seven months, during which she must, among other things, take counselling, avoid unsupervised contact with children under 16, and submit a sample of her DNA for the National DNA Databank.

The children’s father faces charges of assault, assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement, and sexual assault. He is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing beginning Thursday in provincial court.

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