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Technicality keeps sex offender out of jail

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Justice Robert Kilpatrick called Ruben Komangapik, 26, a lucky man after the discovery of a minor error in a conditional sentence order for a sexual assault that Komangapik was convicted of in 2001.

The order, made by deputy judge Alan Cooke on Aug. 14, 2001, states that the sentence imposed was for two years, when it should have read two years, less a day.

Under conditional sentences, offenders are able to stay out of jail if they obey the conditions attached to their sentence.

But if they breach those conditions, they can be brought back to court and be ordered to serve out the rest of their time in jail.

Komangapik was charged with another sexual assault from Dec. 7, 2001 – a possible breach of the conditional sentence order.

But the error makes that condtional sentence illegal, and any breaches that might have occurred over the last 14 months are void, because, technically, there was no legal conditional sentence for Komangapik to breach.

Had defence lawyer Susan Cooper not found the error, “there is a very real chance you’d be serving the rest of your sentence in jail,” Kilpatrick said.

“Christmas came early for you. If you breach again, you will likely go to jail.”

Komangapik was ordered to stand trial on the Dec. 7, 2001, sexual assault charge after a recent preliminary inquiry.

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