In a decision that re-examines the application of the Gladue principles, the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside a lower court’s decision in a sexual interference case yesterday, finding that the trial judge “overemphasized” the principles in his sentencing ruling.
The Gladue principles, applied in the context of aboriginal offenders, take into consideration the defendants’ difficult life circumstances due to their native background. The principles are also meant to address the overrepresentation of aboriginals in the prison system.
Dennis Bauer, an aboriginal man, was found guilty of a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl who was a friend of his daughter’s. The trial judge sentenced him to eight months in prison.