A 20-year-old man who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy last summer has been sentenced to 10 months in jail.
Jeremy Branton was sentenced this morning in provincial court in St. John's.
With straight-time credit for the 132 days he's spent in custody, he has just over five months left on his term.
The sentence includes a three-year probation period once he's released from prison. Conditions include that he have no contact with the victim, and that he stay away from any public area where people under 16 are or would be.
Branton was arrested July 26. According to the facts of the case, he had bought the teen cigarettes and brought him to his residence, where he exposed himself to the boy and attempted anal sex.
He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault. Charges of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference were withdrawn by the Crown.
The sentence is a far cry from the three-year term Crown prosecutor Glynn Faulkner had suggested. She had noted that Branton had just been sentenced in May of this year to 30 days in jail after he was convicted of sexual interference.
Defence lawyer Ken Hollett had suggested a sentence of under two years.
In making her decision, Judge Lori Marshall took into consideration the pre-sentence report, which deemed him a high risk to reoffend, but also the chances of his rehabilitation.
"I have to impress upon you your behaviour is absolutely unacceptable," Marshall said. "It's not going to be tolerated by society and it's not going to be tolerated by this court.
"If you are engaging in the sexual assault of minors, you have to realize you're facing significant jail time."
She said while she recognizes the importance of denunciation and deterrence, Branton's circumstances must also be considered and his need to be rehabilitated in order to prevent him from reoffending. She pointed out that Branton had expressed a desire to get counselling and medication for his ADHD.