POLITICS

First Nation man's sentencing delayed due to new guidelines

07/19/2012 08:08 EDT | Updated 09/18/2012 05:12 EDT
A law intended to give aboriginal people a break in the courts will wind up keeping an admitted sex offender behind bars for at least another two months before he's sentenced.

Kenneth Stewart pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman in separate incidents in Watson Lake, Yukon.

Stewart has spent nearly two years in jail since his arrest on the charges and his lawyer asked for him to be sentenced to time served and released. Crown prosecutors say Stewart should spend four years behind bars for his crimes.

But Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale said he can't sentence Stewart until someone tells the court about Stewart's aboriginal ancestry and First Nation history. Veale said the Supreme Court of Canada made that clear in several new rulings this spring.

Stewart's lawyer said his client wanted to waive his right to have his aboriginal ancestry considered and to get on with sentencing but Veale said he can't do that.

Stewart will go back to jail until at least the middle of September while that information is prepared.