A B.C. court has dismissed the appeal of a social worker who was sent to prison for shaving the body hair off a young man who passed out at his home.
Michael Hume was seeking to have his three-year sentence overturned, by arguing it was too harsh. But the B.C. Court of Appeal judges disagreed in their decision on Friday, saying the punishment fit the "highly invasive, humiliating and degrading" crime.
The incident began in August 2013 when Hume, who was working in the unidentified community as an aboriginal youth worker, offered a ride to a 24-year-old man who wanted to get home after a night of drinking.
But instead of taking the young man home, Hume, who is now 48, took him back to his own house and gave him more to drink until the young man passed out. And that's when the assault began, according to the court documents.
"When [the victim] awoke he found himself naked on Mr. Hume's living room floor. Mr. Hume was in the process of shaving underneath his testicles, and various other areas of [his] body (including his armpits, pubic region, around his anus and portions of his legs) were already shaved." the judge wrote in the decision.
"When [the victim] protested, Mr. Hume said, "Don't be mad, your girlfriend will like it any ways."
When the young man tried to get dressed and leave, Hume first threatened him with a bottle, before eventually giving him a ride home, where he tossed $50 at him and warning him not to tell anyone.
The victim immediately told his family, who went to police, who arrested Hume.
Social worker appeals sentence
In January of this year, the former community support worker was convicted of sexual assault, uttering threats and unlawful confinement and sentenced to three years in prison.
But in April Hume appealed the three-year sentence, arguing the judge should not have found the sexual assault "serious" because there was no penetration and therefore the sentence was too harsh.
On Friday, the three-judge panel unanimously dismissed the appeal, saying they agreed with the original trial judge's conclusion that it was not correct to say sexual assault is not "serious" if there is no penetration.
"I consider what Mr. Hume did to [the victim] to be a degrading and profound violation of his sexual integrity. I consider it to be a serious sexual assault. In my opinion, to have one's body stripped naked while unconscious, and its most intimate and other areas shaved can be seen in no other way. [The victim] was extremely vulnerable at the time and Mr. Hume preyed on that vulnerability," said the original ruling.