Nunavut judge convicts Taloyoak man for having sex with 12-year-old girl

Man, 20 at the time, did not ask about girl’s age

A Taloyoak man who had sex four times with a 12-year-old girl is guilty of sexual interference, judge Susan Charlesworth ruled in a written verdict published earlier this week. (Nunatsiaq News file photo)

By Jim Bell

A Taloyoak man who had sex four times with a 12-year-old girl is guilty of sexual interference, judge Susan Charlesworth ruled in a written verdict published earlier this week.

Darren Pauloosie, who was 20 at the time, admitted to the court that, in January and February of 2017, he invited the girl over to his house late at night using Facebook Messenger and had sex with her on four occasions.

The crime of sexual interference, under section 151 of the Criminal Code, means the touching of any part of the body of a young person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose.

Pauloosie said he honestly believed the girl was 16 or 17. For sex crimes involving underaged people, consent is not a defence.

In any criminal charge, the Crown has to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt: that the accused did the unlawful act, and that the accused did so with a guilty mind.

That means the only disputed issue was whether the man was reckless about establishing the girl’s age before he had sex with her, Charlesworth said her judgment.

During the Pauloosie’s trial, which was held Jan. 15 in Taloyoak, defence lawyer Sally Paddock argued the man held an honest but mistaken belief about the girl’s age for several reasons.

Paddock argued the girl was physically bigger than Pauloosie, tried to make him believe she was 16 or 17, that she hung out with an older friend who Pauloosie thought was 16 or 17, that she was in a different grade than him at school, and that she went alone to his house at night.

Paddock also argued Pauloosie never saw the girl with siblings, younger people, or parents.

After the trial, Charlesworth rejected that defence, because Pauloosie never asked the girl for her age.

“That is the absolute least he was required to do before having sex with her, given his very limited knowledge of her,” she wrote in her judgment.

Charlesworth said the victim, like many children, wanted to act as if she were more mature than her age and exhibited the behaviour of a healthy, curious 12-year-old girl.

She should have been free from the threat of sexual exploitation from an adult when she exhibited such behaviour, the judge said.

Charlesworth did not say when Pauloosie will be sentenced.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the crime of sexual interference, when prosecuted by indictment as Pauloosie’s was, carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison and a minimum sentence of one year.

R. v Pauloosie, 2021 NUCJ 9 by NunatsiaqNews

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by BS on

    we live in small towns where everyone knows everyone. Unless she literally just moved there, dude knew how old she was. .

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  2. Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

    Hope this poor child, and yes at 12 you are still a child, mentally, gets the meaningful help she needs while she is still young , otherwise , it will affect her very bad for the rest of her life. There will be much shame and anger later in life ,once she is an adult looking back, otherwise, as she will realize this man took advantage of her. That is if she does not get the help she needs immediately. That was a very serious offence. The man is a pedophile, SIMPLY DISCUSTING who took advantage of her natural curiosity about sex at that age. If in doubt ASK! It is the adult’s responsibility to do so., not the child’s .I don’t believe for one bit that he thought that she was much older in such a small community where every knows everyone. There is too much of that going on in our communities and ruining young people’s lives. This has to STOP! He was obviously not remorseful of what he did and trying to blame the child instead. That is what sexual abusers do; put the blame on the victim for their actions.

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  3. Posted by Name withheld on

    The problem is the court system, not only in Nunavut but rest of Canada for the indigenous people. They do not give the same sentencing as for non indigenous people of Canada. Search it on the web.

    These young men doing such things do not care how old the girls are as long as it’s pleasing them!! They need to be given hard time behind bars

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  4. Posted by Unction on

    “this kind of framing in the public that perpetuates the abuse of children.”

    How though? Please explain

    • Posted by Rmph on

      By referring to this as “sex”, a neutral term about a normal, natural activity, it is understating what happened according to our laws, i.e. rape. I think that is what Disgusted means. And therefore it is understating the problem. It is the first time since I have been living in Nunavut that I become aware of such a conviction, however, so perhaps there is some progress in some people taking action against this type of child abuse. There is also an MLA who called this out in the past 1-2 year and there are messages on that in Tanya Tagak’s book, and another artist, Susan Aglukark, has recently been vocal about her experience in Rankin Inlet. It is tragic. I also do hope that that young woman gets support. These women and the MLA are courageous to be raising these issues. They need support from all of us.

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