Court sentences former blind Paralympic athlete to jail for sex assault

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CALGARY - The Alberta Court of Appeal says a blind man who once competed for Canada in the Paralympics will serve jail time for sexual assault.

Keith Myette (MY'-ett) of Calgary was convicted in October 2011 and sentenced to 18 months house arrest.

The trial judge said Myette could not be reasonably accommodated in jail and prison would subject a blind person to more punishment than other inmates.

But in a 2-1 ruling, the Appeal Court panel threw out the original decision and sentenced Myette to 90 days in jail to be served on weekends, plus one year of probation.

Two of the judges wrote that going to prison may be harder on the disabled, but that can't be used to forgo a jail term if the crime warrants it.

The dissenting judge wrote that he would have dismissed the appeal because a blind person in jail would be completely defenceless and at the mercy of other prisoners.

Organizations: Alberta Court

Geographic location: CALGARY, Canada

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