July 15th, 2024

Prison time for man guilty of sexual contact with a child


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on May 26, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 21-year-old man who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl more than two years ago, has been sent to a federal penitentiary.
Landon Thomas Murphy, who was 19 at the time of the offence, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of sexual contact with a child, and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Additional charges of sexual assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement and sexual assault of a person under the age of 16 were withdrawn.
Court was told that in November 2019 the girl was visiting her friend, who at the time was Murphy’s girlfriend, and the three of them were in a bedroom. After Murphy’s girlfriend left the bedroom, he pulled the other girl onto his lap, pulled out a knife and ran the blade along her collarbone and back of her leg.
He put the knife away, turned off the light and forced her face down on the bed, and when she attempted to get up, he pushed her down and forced himself on her. The terrified girl, who initially was too scared to cry for help, said she did not want to have sex, but Murphy ignored her.
Reading from the girl’s victim impact statement, Crown Prosecutor Sheena Campbell said the girl has nightmares and is afraid to leave her house for fear she will see Murphy.
“I have nightmares almost every night of Landon assaulting me over and over again,” the girl’s statement reads. “I can still feel the knife against my neck and his hands on my wrists.”
She said she is scared of, and finds it difficult to socialize with, people she doesn’t know, and she can’t stand to be touched.
“I hate when people touch me, whether that’s just a hand on my shoulder. Most physical contact I have makes me uncomfortable. Every touch feels like his, and I feel repulsive.”
Lethbridge lawyer Darcy Shurtz joined with the Crown in recommending the sentence, and acknowledged the serious nature of the offence. He noted, however, Murphy was relatively young at the time of the offence, does not have a criminal record, and he pleaded guilty. Shurtz also asked the judge to recommend his client serve his sentence at the Bowden Institution south of Red Deer where he can enroll in sex offender programs.
In addition to his federal prison sentence, Murphy must register with the Sex Offender Information Registry for 20 years and submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank. He is prohibited from possessing certain weapons for 10 years and others for life, and he is not to be in the company of anyone under the age of 16 without the presence of another adult.

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