A Halifax-area navy sailor has been jailed three years for sexually assaulting a woman he met over Facebook.
Leading Seaman Paul Simpson, 43, assaulted the woman on their second date, on Feb. 23, 2014, according to a provincial court ruling released Thursday.
Judge Theodore Tax said they had some consensual activity on both dates, but she told him she would not have intercourse that night, and repeatedly told him no before he forced himself on her.
“While there is no doubt that the evening had started as an enjoyable date which progressed to some consensual sexual activity at Mr. Simpson’s house, I have found that Mr. Simpson imposed his will and much larger physical stature on (her), despite her protestations not to do so, for his selfish gratification,” Tax said.
The two had never met before Simpson invited her to a 2013 New Year’s Eve party at his house over Facebook.
They had one date in late December, and he asked her to dinner about two months later. She agreed to go back to his Middle Sackville, N.S., house afterwards, but told him there would be “no sex.”
After some consensual activity in his bedroom, she told him she did not want him to touch her, but he ignored her, Tax said.
Simpson insisted she never told him no, but acknowledged she was “visibly upset” afterwards.
“You just raped me and I don’t know what you might have,” she told him, according to the judge’s ruling.
A cab driver who drove her home testified she was crying and told him she’d been raped, and he took her to hospital.
The woman has since been diagnosed with PTSD, suffers from social anxiety and has been self-mutilating, Tax said.
“Over the past three years, her life has changed and been turned inside out, filled with despair and depression on a daily basis,” he said.
He is married and has a daughter, and his naval colleagues – Simpson is a sonar technician – described him as reliable and focused, the ruling said.
“Mr. Simpson’s wife describes him as a gentle, calm and patient person who is a dedicated family man and that everyone speaks of him ‘very highly,”‘ said the judge. “Mr. Simpson’s brother, who is a correctional officer in Ontario, stated that his brother is a family man, and would never be abusive to a woman.”
The Crown had sought a three-year jail term, while Simpson’s lawyers suggested 15 to 18 months.
The judge sided with the Crown.
“I find that this was a serious sexual assault which was a very significant violation of (her) physical and psychological integrity as well as her self-esteem … the gravity of the offence is at the higher end of a continuum of sexual assaults.”
He ordered that Simpson surrender a DNA sample, and that his name be added to the Sex Offender Registry.