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Jailed for assaulting friend as she slept

Dettah man sentenced to four months

Tara Kearsey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 02/02) - A 54-year-old Dettah man has been sentenced to four months in jail for sexual assault against a friend while she slept.

The offence occurred on March 23 when the victim and a friend visited the home of Archie Paulette at approximately 4 a.m.

In territorial court Tuesday, the court heard the three individuals began drinking a bottle of vodka. The victim then went to the bedroom to use the phone and fell asleep with her clothes on.

The court heard she awoke at approximately 7 a.m. to find Paulette standing in front of her with his right hand on her upper inner thigh. Her pants and panties had been removed. The victim observed that Paulette had also removed his pants, but was unsure if he had removed his underwear or not because he was wearing a long shirt.

The court heard the victim jumped up and began yelling at her attacker. She then ran to her mother's home, phoned police and went to Stanton Territorial Hospital where a sexual assault kit was completed. Test results showed no penetration had occurred.

Paulette stood before Chief Judge Robert Halifax in Yellowknife territorial court Tuesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to the charge. The Crown indicated Paulette had a criminal record dating from 1966 to 1993, with five assault-related convictions.

A victim impact statement was submitted by the complainant, stating the attack has had a profound affect on her life.

Crown prosecutor Bernadette Schmaltz said the offence was a "breach of trust" in that Paulette was a long-time friend of the victim. Since the attack, the victim claims she has been plagued with nightmares, is fearful of strangers and can no longer trust other people.

Defence counsel Margo Engley said Paulette "doesn't have much of an explanation for why this occurred." However she said he has admitted to touching the woman inappropriately.

Judge Halifax sentenced Paulette to four months in jail plus one year of probation after his release. He has been ordered to attend counselling programs as directed by his probation officer.