Man gets jail time for breaking into woman’s home to sexually assault her for stealing booze

‘No consent where the victim submits by reason of threats or fear of the application,’ judge says

A Nunavut Court of Justice has sentenced a 36-year-old Resolute Bay man to 30 months in jail for breaking into a woman’s house to sexually assault her as punishment for stealing a bottle of liquor. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Jail time for man who broke into woman’s home, sexually assaulted her for stealing his booze

A 36-year-old Nunavut man who broke into a woman’s house to sexually assault her as punishment for stealing a bottle of alcohol has been handed a 30-month sentence.

While the woman agreed to be raped by the man, judge Alan Ingram said it’s impossible to give consent because “there is no consent where the victim submits by reason of threats or fear of the application of force.”

The judge sentenced Solomon Idlout to spend another 327 days at the Makigiarvik Correctional Centre in Iqaluit, where he was locked up for the past two years awaiting a trial that was held in December in Resolute Bay. Idlout’s remaining sentence was calculated by taking into consideration time he has already served.

Idlout was found guilty of breaking and entering to commit a crime — namely, sexual assault.

“It is aggravating that this offence was pre-meditated,” Ingram said in a sentence released by the Nunavut Court of Justice on Jan. 12.

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It is also aggravating that the sexual assault occurred in the victim’s home, where she deserves to expect safety, and “that two of her children were in the residence at the time,” Ingram said.

According to a publication ban the judge imposed, no information may be published that could identify the victim.

The crime occurred in May 2019 when both Idlout and the victim were in their mid-30s. They were drinking buddies, according to the sentencing document.

After learning that the victim had stolen a 60-ounce bottle of hard liquor, Idlout and his partner decided that she must be punished, Ingram wrote.

The couple decided to give the victim a choice of punishment: either the man would rape her, or his partner would beat her up.

On May 14, 2019, between 1:30 and 2 a.m., Idlout broke into the victim’s house, woke her up and told her of the choice.

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The victim said she didn’t want either option but when Idlout was about to leave to get his partner to come beat her up, she changed her mind.

“She said she would sleep with him but he had to wear a condom,” Ingram wrote.

“They had sexual intercourse and he did wear a condom. The sexual intercourse took place to avoid being beaten up.”

In coming to his sentence, Ingram was required by an earlier Supreme Court of Canada ruling to consider how the Indigenous identities of both the victim and the offender impacted the circumstances of the crime.

Idlout was born and raised for part of his childhood on an outpost camp in a big family. One of his siblings was murdered, two were killed in an accident and numerous siblings attended residential school, Ingram said.

The victim is an Indigenous woman, many of whom face prejudices, biases and stereotypes by the criminal justice system.

The victim “sometimes worries that the offender and his partner, while out in a vehicle, may try to harm him,” Ingram quoted from the victim’s impact statement.

Ingram concluded that because this is Idlout’s first jail sentence, he’s shown a “positive effort” while in custody, and he has five children and a spouse, his incarceration shouldn’t be so long that it inhibits his rehabilitation.

On top of his remaining jail time, Idlout faces a 12-month probationary period and 10-year firearms ban.

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