01/10/2014 06:11 EST | Updated 03/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Edmonton Soldier Sentenced To 4 years For Sex Assault

MILpictures by Tom Weber via Getty Images

An Edmonton soldier has been sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting an American woman staying at a downtown Halifax hotel three years ago.

Andrew Norman Wilson, a 24-year-old combat engineer stationed at CFB Edmonton, was originally charged with sexual assault, aggravated assault, forcible confinement, unlawfully being in a dwelling and choking a person.

Wilson pleaded guilty to the sexual assault charge during a court appearance in December 2011. But then, Wilson changed his mind. He tried to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he got bad advice from his original lawyer.

In a ruling earlier this week, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice rejected Wilson's bid to change his plea. Wilson was then sentenced to four years.

Wilson was arrested after Halifax Regional Police were called to the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Hollis Street in April 2010.

A woman who had just checked into the hotel with her then husband for the Easter weekend was in the hall buying a soft drink from a vending machine when a man began sexually assaulting her.

"It was a very sad situation," Crown prosecutor Catherine Cogswell said at the time of Wilson's guilty plea.

"Within probably a half an hour of being in Canada, the female complainant … was sexually assaulted."

The woman persuaded the man to go back to her room, where she yelled for her husband.

The attacker and the woman's husband began tussling and she fled the room to seek help from the hotel's staff.

"They both had a lot of issues around that and as a result, they actually broke up and got a divorce because they just couldn't move on from this as a couple," Cogswell said.

Wilson was granted bail after he was charged and ordered to stay at CFB Edmonton.

In addition to the prison sentence, Wilson must give a DNA sample. He faces a weapons ban and his name will be placed on the national sex offender registry.

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