News

Judge 'disgusted' by sex offender

By Susan Gamble, Brantford Expositor

SIMCOE -- A judge says he is "disgusted" by a Norfolk County man who pleaded guilty to sexually touching two underage girls after earlier being convicted of sexual interference.

Joseph Alan Anderson, 39, is already in jail, serving a sentence of two years less a day after being found guilty in May for sexually touching a young girl when he drove her home.

On June 26, he got a concurrent sentence for sexual acts with two other girls.

"I'm disgusted by your offences," Justice Anthony Leitch told Anderson.

"They have cost these young victims dearly and will have lifelong effects."

Leitch said he would have sent Anderson to penitentiary but his guilty plea saved the victims from having to testify.

"I'm also accepting this joint submission because you're prepared to take treatment," said the judge, urging Anderson to work to ensure he's never a danger to other children.

The two girls - who each had to testify at a preliminary inquiry - were not related to Anderson but were family acquaintances, like his earlier victim.

"He groomed these young women and created the conditions that led to these despicable offences," said Leitch.

One girl was a young teenager when Anderson began touching her and masturbating in front of her. He eventually directed her to masturbate him and they engaged in mutual oral sex.

She later cut ties with Anderson and his family and, when she was 16 or 17, disclosed the abuse to her mother.

Shaken and crying, the girl told court how Anderson's actions have affected her health and mental state.

"The pre-trial forced me to relive things I didn't want to remember," she said.

"I feel guilty and numb all the time. I fear any contact with Joe."

The second victim was under 10 when Anderson began touching her through her clothes.

"I wanted him to stop," she said.

"I asked myself, 'Is it OK for him to do this to me?' And I lay awake at night scared. I felt so guilty. I asked myself constantly, 'What have I done wrong?'"

Assistant Crown attorney Gracie Romano acknowledged the concurrent sentence is a low one but she wanted to spare the victims any further trauma.

Defence lawyer Shawn Swarts said his client has lost his job as a millwright as a result of the charges and his jail sentence.

"He's acknowledged and taken responsibility for his actions and wants to get treatment as quickly as possible," said Swarts.

The judge sentenced Anderson to jail sentences of two years less a day for his actions with one victim and six months for the other. Both sentences will be served at the same time as his earlier sentence.

Leitch repeated the same conditions that Anderson has already been ordered to follow.

He must turn in a DNA sample. He cannot own or use firearms or other weapons for the rest of his life. He must have no communication with the victims or their families for 10 years. And Anderson will be on the sexual offenders list for the rest of his life.

Anderson also can't communicate with anyone under 16 unless he's supervised by someone over 21, with an exception of his own children.

"You have a problem if you've offended against this many children and you need to get a handle on that," the judge said.

At the time of his earlier charge, Anderson was on probation for a 2013 assault of a young girl.

Anderson originally faced two dozen charges for sexual crimes against minors, dating from 2002 to 2015.

Some charges were dealt with by way of a peace bond between him and the complainant, another charge was stayed by a judge and several charges were withdrawn.

He was arrested in 2016 while living temporarily in Matawa, Ont., but all his charges relate to the Norfolk area.

SGamble@postmedia.com

@EXPSGamble

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