Sex offender convicted in third case

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Joseph Alan Anderson is now 40 years old but his sexual crimes as a young man continue to keep him in jail.

The former Waterford man has now been convicted in three separate cases for sexual offences involving young girls that have included sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

His most recent conviction involved events that took place “at the turn of the century” said Justice Robert Gee.

“That sounds like a long time ago but it doesn’t diminish the fact that you were absolutely sexually inappropriate to a young girl and in her victim impact statement she speaks loud and clear about the resounding impact that has had on her today.”

In December 2016, Anderson, then 37, was charged in Simcoe with 21 sex offences for crimes committed between 2002 and 2013 in Norfolk and Niagara Falls.

In January 2017, police added two more sexual assault charges and two more counts of sexual interference with a person under 16.

In May 2018, Anderson was sentenced on a single charge of sexual interference and a second charge of sexual assault was stayed, meaning it could be brought back to court within a year. Other charges were dismissed, stayed or dealt with by putting a peace bond in place between Anderson and his victims.

The court was told that during the sexual interference incident, Anderson was driving home an adolescent acquaintance when he fondled her breasts and inserted a finger into her vagina.

Assistant Crown attorney Gracie Romano said that victim was derided by acquaintances for allegedly fabricating the story and the trial process had a significant impact on her.

The judge in that case expressed his disgust that some of Anderson’s supporters had stuck up for him and noted Anderson, at the time of the incident, had been on probation for the assault of another young girl.

Anderson was sentenced to nine months in jail and put on the sexual offenders list for 20 years.

A few months later, in July, two more victims testified about sexual acts he performed on them and another judge expressed his disgust at the man, telling Anderson his actions would have “life-long effects” on the young women.

Justice Anthony Leitch said he would have sent Anderson to prison rather than jail except for the fact he pleaded guilty, sparing the girls a trial, and had agreed to take treatment.

For those crimes, Anderson was sentenced to two years, less a day, but at the same time as the two-years-less-a-day sentence he was currently serving.

Anderson went to the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton where a large part of the facility is dedicated to treating convicts, especially sex offenders.

But that treatment came to a halt on May 18 last year.

After reading coverage in the Simcoe Reformer about Anderson’s conviction, another victim contacted police.

This woman, who now resides in another province, was 14 or 15 when she and a girlfriend of the same age used to hang out with Anderson, who was 19 to 21, and another adult man.

She disclosed the two men gave the girls alcohol and asked them to take off their tops.

Some time later, the victim was in a car with Anderson when he reached across and fondled her breasts, both over her clothing and underneath.

At the end of that drive the girls and men ended up in a vacant home. The men provided marijuana and alcohol and the victim passed out. She awoke with her pants off and Anderson having sexual intercourse with her.

In court last month, the assistant Crown attorney said she would have been seeking a prison sentence for Anderson except for several factors in his favour.

Anderson has been taking steps to resolve any outstanding complaints, entered a quick guilty plea and was in the midst of completing – and doing well in — his treatment at the Ontario Correctional Institute.

Romano asked the judge to consider a further 18 month sentence.

But Shawn Swarts, Anderson’s lawyer, said another year would suffice.

He noted the man is now 40, married and has three children.

“He was sentenced and believed he had wrapped up all his matters and resolved everything,” said Swarts.

“When he was charged he was pulled out of OCI, which was unfortunate because he did want to continue his treatment.”

Both Swarts and the judge agreed there would have been problems in prosecuting the 20-year-old allegations if Anderson had chosen to plead not guilty.

“As a trial judge,” said Gee, “I can tell you how challenging it is to make findings of fact in cases where we need to inure issues of credibility in a ‘He said/she said’ situation, so this saved the complainant from having to testify and the court from having to try and sort out what exactly happened 20 years ago.”

Because of that, Gee sided with the defence and sent Anderson back to jail for another year with a strong recommendation he be returned to OCI to continue treatment.

He will now be on the sexual offenders list for the rest of his life, probation for three years and must not have weapons for 20 years.