A hockey player assaulted a girl. The judge didn’t want it to damage his internship. – Sacramento Bee
A hockey player who pleaded guilty to assaulting a teenage girl had his sentencing postponed so it wouldn’t affect his summer internship.
Chance Macdonald, 22, pleaded guilty in Ontario court this April to one count of common assault that he committed against a girl, who was just 16, in fall 2015, according to the Queen’s Journal.
But the judge, siding with Macdonald’s lawyer, postponed his sentencing until late August out of concern that it could cost the 22-year-old his summer internship, according to the Kingston-Whig Standard.
Connie Baran-Gerez, Macdonald’s lawyer, argued that her client would not be able to afford education at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business, where he is in the top 10 percent of his class, if the charges meant he lost his summer job.
The judge, Allan Letourneau — who went to the same university as Macdonald and also played hockey, according to Vice — told the hockey player that he “excelled in employment, in athletics and in academics,” but added “it all could have come crashing down on you” and that “this was a fork in the road for you.”
Letourneau sentenced Macdonald to 88 days of intermittent jail on weekends and two years probation, according to the Kingston-Whig Standard.
Originally, Macdonald was charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement.
In April, Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis, who represented the victim in court, read an account of what happened the night of the assault.
He said the 16-year-old victim was invited to attend a “rookie party” for the Gananoque Islanders junior hockey team, according to the Kingston-Whig Standard. The party was held in the university housing district.
During the party, Laarhuis said the victim was subjected to rude and sexual comments from multiple hockey players. At one point, Macdonald — 20 at the time — forced himself on top of the victim, groping her and requesting to have a threesome with her and another male hockey player, Laarhuis said.
Laarhuis explained why he accepted a lesser offense, saying that the victim “fully supported the resolution” because “she was torn by the thought that she might not be believed” if she had to testify in front of a room of strangers, according to the Kingston-Whig Standard.
The victim is “entitled to prioritize the issues in her life and move on,” he added.
Justice Letourneau said the final decision was the right one.
“It’s not only appropriate,” he said, “I think it was the right way to go in all respects.”