BRITISH COLUMBIA

Four years behind bars for man who sexually assaulted B.C. youth: Crown

06/22/2015 01:13 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A community support worker who stripped a young man and shaved his body hair after he passed out should serve four years in prison, a Crown lawyer has argued.

“He was essentially flaunting his power over a disadvantaged young man,” Chris Balison said, adding Michael Hume continues to deny his actions.

Hume, 48, was convicted in January of sexual assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats after the August 2013 assault at his home in Lytton, B.C.

Hume's defence lawyer, Richard Kaiser, said his client should serve 90 days in jail, on weekends, along with three years' probation.

“Mr. Hume is at a low risk to reoffend,” Kaiser said, referring to a psychological report.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan is expected to give her sentencing decision on Friday.

Court heard Hume arrived in the Fraser Canyon community 10 years ago, working first as a youth and recreation counsellor and later assisting with restorative justice and helping young Lytton First Nation members in trouble with the law. The victim testified that included him.

“It placed him in a trust role . . . in a job with court and social issues,” Balison said.

Hume was also active with the B.C. Ambassador Program for youth and married the Lytton band administrator, who has since died.

Kaiser presented 66 letters of support. But Balison argued the court should not consider them because they spoke of a reputation that allowed Hume to be trusted by his victim.

Hume told court that the victim made up the bizarre story after he would not hand over $200, in what Hume characterized as an attempted extortion.

However, the jury sided with the Crown, who said Hume’s story was not believable.

The young man, who can't be identified because of a publication ban, said he'd reluctantly accepted a ride from Hume after drinking at a friend's house because he would have otherwise faced a long walk home.

He tearfully testified to waking up at Hume's home after a drinking session as Hume was shaving his pubic area. Much of his body hair had been removed.

He told court that Hume laughed and said, “Your girlfriend will like it.”

Hume then drove the young man home, gave him $50 and warned him not to tell anyone, court heard.

Hume denied shaving the complainant, though he acknowledged police seized hair from his vacuum cleaner and agreed with the Crown it was not animal hair.

Lytton First Nation Chief Janet Webster wrote a victim impact statement, calling Hume’s actions “a crime against the entire community, not just one individual.” (Kamloops This Week)