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Four months for sexual assault
Judge tells offender with lengthy criminal history to quit drinking and find a job

Daniel Campbell
Northern News Services
Published Friday, September 13, 2013

A 32-year-old man will spend five months in jail for beating a female acquaintance while she slept and breaking another woman's living room window.

Adam Casaway was sentenced Thursday in Yellowknife territorial court.

Similar to many offenders in territorial court, Casaway has a troubled past, dealing with violence and alcohol in his childhood home in Lutsel K'e. He was also diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. At the age of 24, he became one of the first people from the Northwest Territories to be added to the national registry of sex offenders, after he raped a woman in 2004 while she slept.

Defence lawyer Jeffery Martin said Casaway, who only has a Grade 3 level of education, wants to sober up and pay the money back for the damage he caused.

On Dec. 19, 2012, a heavily intoxicated Casaway entered the room of a sleeping woman and attacked her. Judge Bernadette Schmaltz said he punched her in the face, waking her up. Then he threw her off the bed, dislocating her finger. As the victim tried to escape, Casaway continued his attack, hitting her in the ribs and tossing her around the room.

"It was a situation that went on for some time and I have no idea why," Schmaltz said.

Casaway pleaded guilty for the assault causing bodily harm only after the matter had gone to trial. Schmaltz criticized him for not taking responsibility earlier.

"Normally, credit is given for an early guilty plea," Schmaltz said. "But this is the first time I've seen someone enter a guilty plea after testifying."

Five months after the assault, Casaway was charged with mischief for breaking another woman's living room window. On May 12, Casaway, while intoxicated, began throwing rocks at the front window of a Yellowknife apartment building around 3 a.m.

The window was smashed, causing $895 in damages, paid for by the Yellowknife Housing Authority.

Schmaltz said Casaway needs to quit drinking and find some work for himself.

"I don't know why you haven't done it," she said.

Casaway was given a four-month sentence in jail for the assault, plus a one-month jail sentence for smashing the window. He'll be on probation for one year following his jail sentence, during which he'll need to pay at least $75 per month to the housing authority for the cost of replacing the broken window.

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