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Sexual assault of teenage girl yields three years in prison

A now 36-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Stephen Francis Erickson was issued the term for an incident over the night of Jan. 31, 2019, when he had been invited to a friend’s home in a Prince George apartment building while the friend’s teenage daughter had also convinced one of her friends to come over.

A night of drinking followed and, at one point, Erickson and the two girls walked to a nearby liquor store, where they were refused service on suspicion Erickson was buying for minors. The victim later told police that as they were walking, Erickson flirted with her, grabbed her waist and tried to kiss her while she warded off his advances by saying she was too young and not interested.

When they returned, they ordered some coolers and cider from a delivery service and drank them in the girls’ room where they also ended up sleeping. At one point, the girl got up to go to the bathroom and, upon returning, found Erickson on top of her friend, who was 15 years old at the time.

Erickson told the girl to leave or he would kill her, the court was told. It ended when the father, who had been sleeping in another room, got up to check on the girls. He pulled Erickson off the victim and told him to leave.

Police were called and Erickson was found in back of the building having a smoke. A visibly-drunken Erickson initially denied the act, saying he had spent most of his time a neighbour’s across the hallway after he and the friend had been practicing MMA moves and had gone too far.

But when told clothing and documents in his name, as well as a man’s underwear, were found in the apartment and the girl’s room, Erickson told police he didn’t remember having sex with the girl but if he did, it wasn’t forced. DNA from a swab later taken from Erickson‘s penis was found to match that of the girl’s.

In a subsequent interview with the author of a presentence report, Erickson gave made some troubling comments, the court was told. He focused on himself, complaining that his life was ruined and questioned the victim’s honesty. In a subsequent interview with a psychiatrist, he seemed to be more reflective but when given a chance to speak on Thursday, Erickson put blame on the victim saying she was “very flirty.” However, following a break, Erickson said he takes responsibility and vowed to remain sober for the rest of his life.

The sentence came in the form of a joint submission from Crown and defence counsels after Erickson pleaded guilty to the offence. Less credit for time served following his arrest, Erickson had 1,060 days left to serve as of Thursday.