April 12th, 2024

Voyeur to be sentenced next week


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 1, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 35-year-old Fort Macleod man who was caught filming a woman in a shower stall earlier this year is set to be sentenced when his matter returns to Lethbridge court of justice next week.

Tate Owen Rasmussen, who pleaded guilty last May to one charge of voyeurism, was scheduled to be sentenced earlier this month, but it was adjourned after a report prepared by a counsellor failed to point out whether Rasmussen poses a risk to reoffend.

Justice Gregory Maxwell said during the hearing Oct. 16, that the information is crucial for the court and could determine whether Rasmussen goes to jail or serves his sentence in the community.

“If I have to make a risk assessment, I’m not going to do it on the basis of an absence of evidence that would be available for me to help me make that decision,” Maxwell said. “If I’m left concerned that he represents a continuing risk for the public, he’s going to jail.”

The matter was back in court this week, but simply adjourned until next Wednesday for sentencing.

On Jan. 9 police responded to a report of a disturbance at the YMCA on Mauretania Road West. Police said a man was seen using his cell phone to film underneath a shower stall while a woman was showering.

The man was confronted by two other men but left the business before police arrived. YMCA employees assisted police and following further investigation the man was identified and arrested without incident.

Lethbridge lawyer Steven Osmond is seeking a six-month conditional sentence for his client, which would allow him to serve his custodial sentence under house arrest. However, that option is only on the table if he is no longer a risk.

During the previous court hearing Osmond said his client, who attended counselling sessions but stopped shortly after his child was born in April, has shown a decrease in clinical distress, which puts him at a lower risk.

“My position would be that there has been, at least from a clinical standpoint, a reduction in stress, putting my client in a better position to control the behaviours that we’re concerned about, and that makes him more suitable for a conditional sentence.”

The Crown is also seeking a six-month sentence, but in an actual jail.

Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox said he believes Rasmussen is a threat to the community, and pointed out that Rasmussen acknowledges in a pre-sentence report that he has to mentally prepare himself before going out in public for fear he will relapse.

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