“Putting me in prison longer is not a solution,” says man from Innisfil, adding that the help he seeks is not available through the prison system
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An Innisfil man who is the subject of a dangerous offender complaint has asked the court to send him to a treatment center and give him a chance to live a “crime free” life.
James Hamilton, 54, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of sexual interference and sexual arrangement involving children, as well as failure to comply with restraining and probation orders.
The Crown asked that he be declared a dangerous offender.
At the end of his sentencing hearing that began last month on Thursday, Hamilton read a five-page statement to the court that included his treatment and release plan.
Hamilton also said he was the victim of repeated sexual assault while in foster care from 1976 to 1983, which resulted in a trial which he said ended in the summer. last.
“It’s a big part of my horrific history of rape and abuse,” said Hamilton, who has a grown child and toddler. “It’s embarrassing for me as a man and as a father to admit that.”
Hamilton said he made a “terrible mistake” with a girl in 2007 and eight years later got into trouble with a 17-year-old girl.
He apologized to the previous victim in court and to a woman he texted “stupid and inappropriate things” about a young girl.
“I’m ashamed of it. I know I was wrong and morally and I’m so sorry for both, “he said.
A publication ban prevents the communication of any information relating to the identity of complainants.
Earlier in the sentencing hearing, Crown Attorney Lynne Saunders said Hamilton used manipulation, threats, praise and favors for his own sexual satisfaction. He befriended recently widowed women with young children.
Hamilton has been accused of trying to persuade one of the women to make his eight-year-old daughter available for sexual purposes. In return, he would provide the mother with alcohol and money.
He was then on probation in connection with convictions in 2010 for sexual assault and three counts of sexual interference with another girl, for which he was sentenced to five years.
In 2015, he was sentenced to 280 days after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation and breach of probation. The ensuing probation order was still in effect when he was arrested in 2018.
Hamilton told the court during Thursday’s remote hearing that through counseling he learned that fantasies can lead to problems and that he worked on his cognitive thinking skills with a worker and through lessons in his cell.
Over the past three years in prison, he said he received mental health counseling and help from the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Center and made a lot of progress. He also obtained his General Education Development (GED) certificate.
Hamilton said the transfer from the prison, where he has been held since his arrest on September 6, 2018, to the facility where he will ultimately serve his sentence takes months, delaying his access to treatment.
The intensive help he seeks through one-on-one psychotherapy or sexual abuse counseling, he said, is not available through Corrections Canada and the prison system. He believes the help he needs is available at the treatment center.
“Putting me in prison longer is not a solution. I did prison time and group counseling and it didn’t work,” he said, as the focus was on group without the possibility of individual counseling.
“I ask you to give me a chance and let me live the rest of my life offense free,” Hamilton said during the Central North Correctional Center Zoom Platform hearing in Penetanguishene, addressing the Justice Michelle Fuerst of the Superior Court of Justice.
Hamilton said his girlfriend was waiting for him, that he had the support of his son and his friend, and that he had a full-time job and a company he could return to.
The crown prosecutor had earlier requested that he be declared a dangerous offender, with a fixed sentence of 10 years. Minus three years in pre-trial detention, he would have seven years left to serve.
Defense lawyer Robert Yasskin agreed that there was evidence that could lead the judge to name a dangerous offender.
Yasskin has suggested that Hamilton should be given increased credit for the time he has waited in jail since his arrest in September 2018, reducing the sentence to be served to five years and six months.
This would be followed by a 10-year long-term supervision order.
Hamilton returns to court on February 3 for sentencing.