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B.C. man sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexual offences in Taber 14 years ago

Click to play video: 'B.C. man sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexual offences in Taber 14 years ago' B.C. man sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexual offences in Taber 14 years ago
Richard Elliott, 45, has been sentenced to serve half-a-dozen years in prison for sexual assaults involving a Taber teen in 2007 and 2008. Eloise Therien has the details. – May 26, 2021

Richard Elliott, 45, has been sentenced to six years imprisonment after being convicted of three sexual offences in March 2021.

The offences were committed 14 years ago against a southern Alberta teenager.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Sylvia Oishi handed down the sentence at Lethbridge Provincial Court.

Elliott will serve one-and-a-half years for two counts of sexual assault and four-and-a-half years for one count of sexual exploitation. Elliot has already served 65 days in custody and is being awarded 98 days credit for time served.

Click to play video: 'Vernon man found guilty of multiple sexual assault charges' Vernon man found guilty of multiple sexual assault charges
Vernon man found guilty of multiple sexual assault charges – May 14, 2021

When Elliott was 31, he was the manager of a McDonald’s restaurant in Taber, Alta, according to the victim.

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He forced 15-year-old Taralyn Dillman, who was his employee at the time, into a sexual relationship between April 2007 and November 2008, before moving back to his hometown on Vancouver Island, she explained.

Dillman, now 30, said she has since been dealing with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and reported the abuse to Taber police in 2017 after repressing the memories for nearly a decade.

In its final submissions to the court on Wednesday, the defence asked that Elliott be given the lightest penitentiary sentence possible, citing his co-operation with authorities when taken into custody, significant family support, being a first-time offender and willingness to work on his character and mental health.

Read more: Man accused in Lethbridge sex assault trial enters guilty pleas

At an earlier sentencing hearing, the Crown had requested a sentence of 10 to 12 years.

In her decision, Oishi took Elliott’s position of power over Dillman into consideration, along with how he used his managerial position as a method of coercion into secrecy and failed to stop his acts over a considerable period of time.

She also cited the difference in age, along with the fact Dillman was under 18 at the time.

However, Oishi explained she believes the likelihood Elliott will reoffend is low, having previously proven himself to be a positive member of society who held steady employment.

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Elliott is currently at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre but has been approved to move to the Bowden Institution at the request of his defence, believing he will benefit from the prison’s programming.

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