08/28/2012 02:07 EDT | Updated 10/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Former TV reporter sentenced to four years in prison for sexually abusing minor

SURREY, B.C. - A former Global TV reporter in Vancouver has been sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy for years, starting when he was in Grade 3.

The sentence for Ron Bencze is far tougher than even the Crown's suggestion to the provincial court of two to three years behind bars.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said it's clear the sentence was intended to send a message of deterrence and denunciation for the abuse that lasted more than seven years.

"We've seen the life of a young person severely impacted over a long period of time and we've seen the life of an otherwise apparently normal individual ... totally devastated as well," MacKenzie said Tuesday outside court.

He said Bencze has been prohibited for 20 years from attending, parks, playgrounds, daycares and other locations where children may be found.

"The court concluded that Mr. Bencze was responsible for his conduct and that he brought this on himself," he said.

Chris Davidsen, with the children's safety group Put Kids First, was in court when the former reporter was sentenced.

She said Bencze frequently interviewed her when he was a radio reporter and that he must now pay for his own actions.

"We're setting an example that, you know what, you might have got away with it in the past but we're not going to let you get away with it now."

Many details of the case cannot be reported due to a publication ban to protect the victim's identity.

Bencze also faced at least eight other charges in connection with the alleged abuse of three minors.

Those charges were stayed after Bencze, a father of three, pleaded guilty to a single count in July. (News1130)