Proceedings to impose sentence on former youth pastor Samuel Emerson got underway Tuesday morning (Oct. 6) in Surrey Provincial Court. (File photos)

Crown seeks 3 years for former Cloverdale youth pastor convicted of sexual assault

Samuel Emerson was found guilty in November 2019, defense argues for two-year term

A former Cloverdale youth pastor who was found guilty last fall of sexual assault should spend three years in jail for the crime, a Surrey Provincial Court judge heard Tuesday (Oct. 6) morning.

In submitting the term was appropriate for Samual Emerson, Crown prosecutor Jodie Harris said Emerson was in a position of trust when the offence occurred, was found to have been “almost persuading (the victim) into a sexual relationship” and has shown no remorse.

As well, Emerson “doesn’t appear… to have embarked on any proactive rehabilitation” in advance of the sentencing hearing.

“We submit the offence was a serious sexual offence… because it involved the use of manipulation,” Harris added.

That and other factors “take it out of the bottom of the two- to six-year” jail term that is standard for the offence, Harris said.

Defense counsel Brock Martland submitted a two-year term was appropriate, and was expected to present submissions in support of the shorter term later this morning.

The court was also expected to hear from the victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban.

Emerson, convicted Nov. 13, 2019 of one count of sexual assault, attended the proceedings with his wife, Madelaine and other supporters.

READ MORE: Former Cloverdale youth pastor guilty of one count of sexual assault

READ MORE: UPDATE: Cloverdale pastor, wife charged with sexual assault

Samuel Emerson was cleared of seven other charges: four of sexual assault, two of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one of sexual interference of a person under 16.

Charges were initially announced against both of the Emersons, however, Madelaine Emerson was subsequently cleared of all allegations.

The RCMP announced charges in October 2017, in connection with assaults that were alleged to have occurred between 2013 and 2017 at the Emerson family home and at the Cowichan River Bible Camp.

Following trial, Judge Mark Jetté cited reasonable doubt in finding the Emersons not guilty of the majority of charges. That doubt was raised by inconsistencies in some of the six complainants’ evidence, he said.

For the one guilty charge, Jetté concluded that the complainant’s apparent consent to have sex with Samuel Emerson was induced.

More to come…



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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