A court is set to decide at a later date in May what sentence to issue the Ex Esgenoopetitj boss Wilbur Dedam after he was found guilty of 4 sex offenses going back many years.
A recent trial found Dedam, aged 68, guilty on 4 of 6 charges. The charge presupposes that the Ex-boss touched inappropriately or assaulted 3 of his female workers between the 70s and 80s.
He appeared before a Miramichi judge last Tuesday when Crown prosecutors and the defense team said what they felt were applicable jail times.
Melanie MacAulay, a crown prosecutor said they are seeking 12 years. His defense lawyer, T.J Burke, countered saying they are seeking at most 6 years.
While the victims and prosecution expected sentencing to be effected immediately, Judge Thomas Christie noted he would issue a sentence on the 25th of May. He noted that he wanted a few days to think through the case.
Judge Christie presided over the trial phase on October, last year. This was the 3rd time Dedam face trial on the same allegations, with the first case losing on appeal while the second one was deemed a mistrial.
Last Tuesday, the judge heard an impact statement from one of Dedam’s victims. None of the victims have been named because the law gags standard publication of any material that can identify a victim of sexual offenses.
Another one of Dedam’s victims issued the court with an impact statement but would not read it aloud before the judge.
MacAulay noted that the court has to sentence Dedam because he abused his workers’ trust while he served as boss of the community. She added that the frequency and length of the abuse is another key factor. One of the victims endured the assault right from adolescence and all through into adulthood.
The families’ spokesperson said that while they would have loved to see Dedam being led out of court in handcuffs, they are willing to wait a few days as the court deliberates on the matter.
Dedam seemed to be following the court proceedings but did not show any remorse. He did not say a thing to the court when he was offered the chance.
Outside, he hugged his supporters who had gathered at the parking lot expecting him to be taken to prison the very day.
He will appear before a provincial judge for a preliminary case on the 14th of May on a different charge. He was charged with assaulting another female aged below 14 in the period between 1973 and 1974.
This hearing will decide if the evidence is strong enough for the case to go to trial.