GRAPHIC WARNING: This article contains details that may be disturbing to some.
An Edmonton man pleaded guilty Friday to kidnapping, confining and sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl in March 2020.
Wade Stene also pleaded guilty to unlawfully inviting a person under 16 to touch his body.
An agreed statement facts was also submitted in an Edmonton court room and a request for a Gladue report.
According to the agreed statement of facts, the child was walking in an alley when Stene, wearing a white face mask, drove up beside her in his Jeep and grabbed her by the waist, pulling her into the vehicle. Once inside, he bound her arms and legs with duct tape, and covered her mouth. He drove her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her, court heard.
Later, faced with substantial evidence against him, Stene, in his eventual confession to police, called his own acts “disgusting” and “vile.”
After the assault, the agreed statement of facts said he drove the victim back to to her neighbourhood and dropped her off where she was eventually found by her father.
The victim’s family told Global News they were disgusted and horrified by the details they heard in court Friday.
“It was 100 times worse in the details than we ever could have imagined. I mean, there were details… that were just absolutely unimaginable and unhuman and we’re just heartbroken and horrified, and honestly, quite traumatized.”
However, the family also expressed relief that the girl won’t have to go through a trial. They said she’s incredibly strong and doing as well as possible under the circumstances. However, the family says she still has a long road ahead.
“I just really hope that when he’s ultimately sentenced, they see — absolutely the entirety of the crime — but the lack of remorse.
“We don’t have to go to trial, but we’re honestly quite worried about what the sentence is going to be.”
A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled but the case will be back in court on April 1.
Stene was charged with several offences, including kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon, in relation to an incident in March 2020 involving an eight-year-old girl.
On March 10, in the area of 144 Street and 110 Avenue, the girl was pulled into a vehicle and sexually assaulted before being dropped off nearby, police said.
Stene was released on bail, but during that time, protesters gathered in the area around Stene’s home, calling for him to be returned to jail as he awaited trial.
In June 2020, Stene then expressed a desire to return to custody and a court ruling overturned the bail decision. At the time, his lawyer Mark Jordan said Stene’s request to go back to jail was very uncommon.
Jordan said his client only wanted to return to custody because of threats and harassment that he and his mother were facing.
Stene was also originally charged with invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering threats, making child pornography and possession of child pornography.
—With files from Sarah Ryan, Global News