By Shurtz, Delon on January 18, 2020.
A 65-year-old Lethbridge man who inappropriately touched a young girl has been handed a short jail sentence.
Hubert Patrick Arnold pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of sexual interference and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He will, however, serve his sentence on weekends, which will allow him to continue working.
Court was told Arnold was at his girlfriend’s home when the victim, who was seven or eight years old at the time, arrived. She was sitting on Arnold’s lap while they were watching TV, and Arnold grabbed her hand and “made her touch his groin area,” Crown prosecutor Bruce Ainscough explained.
The girl said she had to go to the bathroom and stood up, but Arnold grabbed her again and tried to bring her back to his lap, but she repeated her need to use the bathroom and left.
The Crown pointed out the assault occurred sometime between January 2017 and March 2019, but it wasn’t reported to police until last July.
Arnold, who does not have a previous criminal record, co-operated with police and is embarrassed by his conduct, court was told.
Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady said her client intended all along to plead guilty and accept responsibility for his actions, and he has expressed a desire to get help.
In addition to his jail sentence, Arnold will be on probation for two years, during which he must adhere to several conditions, including he take counselling as directed by his probation officer, avoid contact with the girl, and not attend any park, swimming pool, playground or other place anyone under the age of 16 may attend. He is allowed to visit his own grandchildren, but only if their mother agrees and supervises the visit. Arnold must also register with the Sex Offender Information Registry, and submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.
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