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Alberta teen gets maximum probation for bearspray attack, sharing intimate images

The Crown noted that both offences would result in a lengthy incarceration if they were committed as an adult. 

A Crossfield teen was handed a two year probation sentence after pleading guilty to bear spraying another teen and sharing intimate images of an underaged person in a separate case.

The bear spray incident resulted from an altercation that occurred in Crossfield in October 2023. The facts read out in court on June 20, 2024, stated the complainant and his friends ran into and briefly interacted with a group of teenagers that included the now-convicted teen. After attempting to walk away, the complainant was separated from his friends. The group of teenagers demanded the complainant kiss their shoes, which he did, and was subsequently bear sprayed on the side of his face. The teenagers then ran away.

One of the teenagers in that group was identified and arrested. He spent four weeks in pre-trial custody.

On June 20, he pleaded guilty to stealing $20 from the complainant using violence and another charge for breaking a previous condition to not possess any weapons.

The maximum probation for youth is 24 months, which the judge felt was fair. She said the fact that the assault happened in a group added to the aggravating factors and the teen also had a prior recent criminal record.

His probation includes standard conditions with counselling for various issues and a prohibition on possessing weapons. He also was given 50 hours of community service to complete. 

In a separate incident, the teen pleaded guilty to distributing intimate images of an underage person, threatening to cause two individuals death or bodily harm, and a third charge related to recording an individual who was naked or engaging in sexual activity.

During his probation, he is not to contact any of his victims. 

At his court appearance on June 20, the judge stated both crimes were serious. She said the first case was a humiliating event and questioned the teenager whether he had considered how his victim felt.

“That would be really humiliating and also very scary for the complainant,” the judge said. “If you can put yourself in that position you would see that not would be an experience that you would want and hopefully you are someone who does care about other people.”

She added that pleading guilty and sparing the complainant to testify showed some form of remorse.

“I think because of your youth and because of your age, the probation orders are appropriate,” she said. “Generally, the focus for young offenders is rehabilitation. That’s the main focus. We want to try to help you become an adult and not offend again.”

The Crown noted that both offences would result in a lengthy incarceration if they were committed as an adult. 

The teenager’s lawyer, who has represented him for three years, stated he’s had a tumultuous youth that led to drug abuse and homelessness. He is currently trying to improve his life, working a stable job, and enjoying his work.

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