Two people sentenced in connection with a series of Metro Vancouver sex assaults earlier this year will not face jail time.
It was back in May when RCMP announced six sexual assault arrests linked to attacks in Vancouver, Burnaby, UBC and North Vancouver.
Police say the arrests came after cooperation among police forces across Metro Vancouver, a real time Intelligence Centre, and the RCMP Behavioural Sciences Unit.
Now, two of the accused know their fate, it it won’t be behind bars for either of them.
Vaughan Englot, charged with two sex assaults in North Vancouver and one downtown, has been handed a suspended sentence, 18 months probation, and must give a DNA sample.
And an unnamed youth facing two counts of sexual assault and two of committing an indecent act in Vancouver will face six months deferred custody, the youth equivalent of a conditional sentence, along with a firearms ban.
A third suspect, David Singh Tucker died in pre-trial custody, while three others await sentencing.
Meanwhile, Hilla Kerner with Vancouver Rape Relief says no jail time sends the wrong message to men thinking about committing a sexual assault.
“Public education message is that it is not considered to be a severe crime. The public does see connection between how the criminal justice system treats the crime in terms of chargers and convictions and sentencing and the nature of sentencing.”
Kerner adds jail time is not always necessary, and understands it can be dependent on youth or adult men.
She says in this particular instance, the message the court is sending is not discouraging enough.
String of assaults
Metro Vancouver has recently been hit with a string of high profile attacks, including several on the UBC campus and five attacks in several weeks in Burnaby.
Police held the joint May press conference to announce progress in the matter after a slew of charges were laid including nine Sexual Assault charges, three counts of Forcible Confinement, a Disguise with Intent charge, an Indictable Offence charge and several Break and Enter charges.
- Michal Popek faces 4 counts of Sexual Assault, and 1 count Break and Enter.
- David Tucker faces charges of 3 counts Sexual Assault, 3 counts Robbery, 3 counts Forcible Confinement, 1 count Break and Enter, and 1 count Disguise with Intent.
- Vaughan Englot faces 3 counts Sexual Assault.
- Jason White charged with Assault Causing Bodily Harm, Break and Enter, breach Long Term Supervision Order.
- Yuan Zhi Gao charged with Break and Enter to Commit an Indictable Offence.
- Unnamed youth faces 2 counts Sexual Assault, 1 count Indecent Act, 1 count Assault.
However, even with the charges, police said a number of cases remained unsolved.
Back in March, the Burnaby RCMP announced a task force after the attacks in that city.