03/30/2016 07:58 EDT | Updated 03/31/2017 01:12 EDT

Alberta man sent to prison for sex assault on hearing-impaired woman

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A southern Alberta man has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for sexually assaulting a hearing-impaired woman.

Darrius Chief Body, who is 46, was convicted earlier this year in the attack on the 30-year-old victim on a downtown Lethbridge street in March 2013.

Court heard that Chief Body grabbed the woman from behind, took her behind some bushes and sexually assaulted her. 

She was fighting an addiction at the time and was looking for cigarette butts.

Justice D.K. Miller rejected Chief Body's story that the victim had offered sexual services for money.

The judge noted that the woman's hearing-aid was not working at the time, so it was improbable that she could have carried on a conversation with him in the dark.

The woman's victim impact statement, read in court earlier this month by her mother, said she hasn't felt safe since the attack and is afraid to go out in public.

"I've basically become a hermit," she wrote.

(CJOC, The Canadian Press)