Courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Sentencing begins in Nanaimo for man in sexual interference case

Paul Stanley Thomas Sam, 41, previously pleaded guilty to charges

Sentencing began this week in Nanaimo for a man who performed sexual acts on a 14-year-old girl and recorded it on his phone.

Paul Stanley Thomas Sam, 41, previously pleaded guilty to charges, including sexual interference of a person under 16 and making and publishing child pornography. The first day of the sentencing hearing happened Thursday, March 17, in provincial court in Nanaimo.

Citing an agreed statement of facts, Catherine Hagen, Crown counsel, said the charges stem from a July 2019 incident in Nanaimo when Sam and the victim, whose identity is protected, were found in the bathroom of a house. The victim was naked and Sam was wearing only pants which were lowered, Hagen said.

Sam had been consuming alcohol, and in a statement to police, the victim said she had also been drinking alcohol, Hagen stated.

After being questioned by police, Sam said he only remembered vomiting in the bathroom, said Hagen. After Sam examined his phone, he reacted in horror when he saw pictures and videos of the victim, naked and in sexual positions, Hagen said.

Stephen Taylor, Sam’s legal counsel, noted the victim would not have to endure a trial due to his client’s guilty pleas. While there were photos and video on Sam’s phone, there was no indication he would try to transmit them, Taylor said.

Sam is a member of Ahousaht First Nation and according to pre-sentence and Gladue reports, his mother committed suicide and he suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse as a child.

Sam has been incarcerated at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Victoria for the last 280 days, Hagen stated.

Hagen sought three to four years for sexual interference and three to four years for the child pornography charge to be served consecutively. Taylor suggested a sentence of between one and two years for the sexual interference charges.

A date for judge Sheila Archer’s decision is expected to be set March 29.

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