A 38-year-old Princeton man pleaded guilty in Princeton court Thursday, March 18, to an assault involving a woman who was 17 years old at the time.
Dave Thomas was originally charged with sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty and was ready for trial last week, until the Crown and defence counsel struck a deal on the lesser accusation, of assault.
Thomas was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and assigned numerous parole conditions.
The court heard that in October 2019, Thomas appeared at a birthday party where children and adults were in attendance. He was intoxicated and proceeded to harass a teenager.
He took her hand, told her she was cute and allegedly grabbed her buttocks, said Crown counsel Ann Lerch.
Thomas, who is an owner-operator logging truck driver, was then convinced to leave the party.
Thomas’s lawyer said his client showed “immediate remorse…in the sober light of day, the very next day, he made immediate steps to apologize to this young woman.”
Thomas is forbidden from having contact with the victim unless that is facilitated through a restorative justice program or his probation officer.
He is also prohibited from consuming alcohol and will be required to complete counselling.
A victim impact statement said the woman experiences fear as a result of the incident.
“She is anxious because Princeton is a small town and she fears running into him,” Lerch told the court.
The woman’s name is protected under a publication ban.
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