03/08/2016 12:11 EST

James Clifford Paul Could Face 10 Years In Prison For Assault Of 6-Year-Old Girl

She was found near dead, lying in the snow.


STONY PLAIN, Alta. — The Crown and defence are recommending that an Alberta man who sexually assaulted and severely beat a six-year-old girl be sentenced to 10 years in jail.

James Clifford Paul, who is 22, was charged after a six-year-old girl was found lying naked in the snow on the Paul reserve west of Edmonton on Dec. 20, 2014.

She was near dead and flown to the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, where she remained unconscious for several days.

Paul pleaded guilty in November to sexual assault and aggravated assault and court heard sentencing arguments on Monday.

Crown prosecutor Jason Neustater told court the girl, now seven, suffered "catastrophic'' injuries that "will continue to impact her for the rest of her life.''

Neustater said in addition to her physical injuries, experts said it's likely she has post-traumatic stress disorder, and needs constant supervision.

"She's in a specialized foster home and is receiving all kinds of therapy,'' Neustater said.

"Because of her age, she's a vulnerable person, but in addition to that because of the injuries she's suffered, she doesn't know, for example, not to walk off with someone who might ask her to come with them,'' Neustater said.

The judge reserved his decision to April 18.

(CTV Edmonton, The Canadian Press)

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