Nunavut man guilty of sexual interference of 14-year-old girl

Victim met man in person after connecting on Facebook

A Nunavut judge found 27-year-old Patrick Pattunguyak guilty of sexual interference in July, according to a judgment released this week by the Nunavut Court of Justice. (file photo)

By Thomas Rohner
Special to Nunatsiaq News

A 27-year-old Nunavut man has been found guilty of sexual interference involving a female youth who was 14 years old at the time and who contracted chlamydia from the incident.

Justice Susan Charlesworth found Patrick Pattunguyak guilty after a judge-alone trial in July, a decision from the Nunavut Court of Justice released Monday said.

Pattunguyak was 24 when the crimes were committed over a weeklong period in October 2018. He was also convicted on two counts of breaching a court order to keep the peace.

In her decision, Charlesworth prohibited the publication of the victim’s name or any information that could reveal the victim’s identity. The written version of her decision does not identify which community the crime occurred in.

The victim testified at the trial that she and a friend were drinking and messaged Pattunguyak on Facebook.

The first night she went over, Pattunguyak kissed her.

The victim said she messaged Pattunguyak and went over to his place each of the next three nights.

Things escalated each time, despite the victim telling Pattunguyak she did not want to have sex.

At one point Pattunguyak offered to pay her for sex but she said no, the victim testified.

On the fourth night, “they kissed again and then he threw her on the bed,” Charlesworth’s decision said.

At this point they had intercourse against the victim’s wishes.

The next day the victim began feeling sick so her mother took her to the health centre.

That’s where she filled out a contact sheet of sexual partners and wrote, “Patrick Pattuk” and “Luke.” During the trial, the victim testified that the second name was a lie.

Charlesworth concluded that the victim “purposely misstated the defendant’s surname to save him from getting into trouble as [her] mother was in the room at the time…”

Both of the victim’s parents testified that their daughter changed from “a normal young girl with lots of friends” to an angry person who drank after the incident.

The victim’s father said he found out and “stormed” into Pattunguyak’s house that night.

But defence lawyer Alan Regel argued that the victim and mother both testified that the victim had been drinking and doing drugs before the incident.

And nobody else who testified corroborated evidence of any interactions between the victim and Pattunguyak.

In fact, both of Pattunguyak’s parents said they would have known if he had had sexual intercourse with the victim because there are nine people living in the home so someone is always home.

Regel also pointed out that the victim’s story had evolved quite a bit since her statement to police in April 2019.

Charlesworth, however, said that the victim’s testimony did not contradict her statement, so her testimony was reliable.

She also found that Pattunguyak’s parents testimony was unreliable: they both only named seven people living at the house at the time, not nine.

“In all of the circumstances I find the Crown has proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Charlesworth said.

She did note the slow involvement of the police in the incident.

“It certainly is unfortunate that nothing seems to have been done by the police close to the time of the assault to speak to [the victim,]” Charlesworth said in her decision.

Pattunguyak will be sentenced at a later date.

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