Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual assault

Defendant’s claim he fell on woman after her ‘scream of terror’ lacked ‘air of reality,’ judge says

The Crown has stayed a child pornography charge against Iqaluit man Keith Oqallak. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

This article includes graphic descriptions of a sexual assault that some readers might find disturbing.

A 22-year-old Ontario man has been sentenced to three years in prison for forcing a 22-year-old woman from Iqaluit to have anal sex against her will in 2018.

Neil Livingstone’s testimony lacked “an air of reality,” judge Paul Bychok said as he delivered his sentence, after having convicted Livingstone in March at the end of a one-day trial. The Nunavut Court of Justice provided a written copy of his ruling to media on Aug. 5.

Livingstone was “inconsistent as to what he actually did with his penis,” the judge said.

In 2018, Livingstone was living in Hawkesbury, Ont., about an hour east of Ottawa, when he came to Iqaluit to work for a summer at the young offenders facility. He split his time between his father’s home in Iqaluit and his mother’s in Ontario.

On July 15 that year, he went to the Royal Canadian Legion with some friends at 9:30 p.m. and drank as many as five cans of beer and a shot of liquor.

When Livingstone went to leave at 12:30 a.m., he noticed a woman with whom he had “previous encounters.” They had met the previous summer, according the Bychok’s ruling.

A court order prevents the publication of the woman’s name. The judge described her as “an articulate and obviously intelligent person.”

Livingstone tapped her on the shoulder, invited her back to his place and they left in a cab.

He testified the woman “didn’t seem too intoxicated” and they were “on very similar levels” of intoxication. Neither was “unduly affected” by alcohol, the judge concluded.

They took off their shoes and headed to the bedroom.

“There was no conversation,” Bychok wrote, summarizing the evidence he heard.

They sat on his bed, kissed for a few minutes, then got undressed. The woman adopted what Livingstone called a “doggy position” in front of him.

“That’s when I proceed to — I touch her — her anus with my penis,” Livingstone testified.

She said no, Livingstone testified, then she let out what he called “a scream of terror.”

The scream caused him to panic, he said, and they fell forward so his torso was on top of her back, then he rolled off of her.

The woman testified that their encounter started out as consensual vaginal sex, but Livingstone began anally penetrating her after she said no.

“I kept telling him to stop,” she said, according to the judge’s summary of the trial evidence, but he continued.

“It ended when he passed out on top of me, and then I pushed — pushed him off of me.”

Then she ran back to her aunt’s home a few houses away. She suffered anal bleeding for a week afterward and only received medical attention when she went back to school in the south.

The woman also testified Livingstone “aggressively choked” her after they entered his apartment, something he denied. The judge said he believed her and that she had not consented to the choking but she dismissed it as what he characterized as “clumsy foreplay.”

In sentencing Livingstone, Bychok noted the woman’s “emotional anguish and suffering” — which continues four years later — as a result of what he called a “heinous crime.”

He also pointed out the woman is Inuk, victimized at a time when she was “vulnerable physically and all but unable to defend herself.”

The Crown asked for a 36-month sentence while Livingstone’s defence asked for 24 to 30 months.

Bychok noted Livingstone did not have a criminal record, but cited a Criminal Code section Parliament added in 2019 instructing judges to emphasize denunciation and deterrence in cases where a victim is a vulnerable, Indigenous woman.

“The gravity of the circumstances of this case requires the court to impose a sentence which emphasizes meaningfully our community’s abhorrence of gendered sexual violence,” said Bychok.

“The sentence must also attempt to protect Nunavummiut by deterring both Mr. Livingstone and others in the future.”

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Fits the bill on

    Nice to see a punishment fit the crime for once in Nunavut. Too many heinous acts of sexual assault in Nunavut merely resulting in probation and a conditional discharge.

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  2. Posted by Carmen Kownirk on

    At least she’s got justice, my attacker, I never pressed charges, till this day I think of what he did to me🤬

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  3. Posted by Predatory media on

    What is the purpose of detailing the graphic assault? And posting difficult information from the most humiliating and traumatizing moment of my life that I couldn’t even tell the people closest to me. Yet here it is posted on the news for everyone to read. It wouldn’t be enough to say it was rape and the sentence? Going through court was difficult but nothing was as brutal as finding out the details of me being raped was published. And it was enough information that people knew it was me and have contacted me regarding the article. While I understand it is public record how many people would have gone to search for that record? Or would have known the details. Just because it is legal doesn’t mean it is ethical. It is shameful.

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  4. Posted by Double standards on

    Can someone provide details on a law that seems to discriminate based on the race of the offender and the victim in sentencing? First time offender and under 25 going to jail? Too much inconsistency with criminal sentencing in Nunavut.

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  5. Posted by Everett (Woody) Boudreau on

    I agree with the lady who was attacked.. Why print all the details as if it were a sex novel.. She deserves privacy, That info would not be as graphic if it was printed in a Southern newspaper..

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  6. Posted by Concerned reader on

    The article mentions that a court order prevents the publication of the woman’s name. However according to the judge’s ruling, the court order prevents the publication of any information that could identify the complainant in any way. After outlining the assault in graphic detail, the article mentions details that would allow the victim to be identified and therefore no longer be protected. Although the judge’s ruling is available online, this article has much more reach and impact due to its accessibility. Indigenous women need to be protected at all levels and this article does not do that. I encourage you to review this article and keep the victim protected.

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