A Chilliwack man who sexually and mentally abused a young girl over five years will likely face just one year in jail.
Andrew Mullaly was charged with sexual assault, extortion and possession of child pornography for the merciless abuse he foisted upon a girl from the time she was 11 until she was 16, when she reported the abuse to police.
Mullaly offered an emotionless apology to the court during a sentencing hearing in provincial court in Chilliwack on April 12.
“I’m very sorry for what I have done and I’m going to work hard at getting the help I need to be a better person,” he said.
The court heard explicit details of how Mullaly inflicted what he called “punishment” on the girl, who cannot be named due to a publication ban. From the age of 11 when the now 37-year-old decided the girl had developed the body of a woman, he began by forcing her to strip naked, pose, jump around, and engage in other humiliating acts. At least once, he also filmed her while she showered.
All along, Mullaly threatened the girl that if she ever told anyone he would “take everything away from her” and ruin her life, Crown counsel Grant Lindsey told the court, reading from an agreed statement of facts.
The abuse started when Mullaly found a photo on a phone of the girl that she had sent to a boy. He began to enact his form of “punishment” on her that involved the naked acts, threatening to tell her mother.
The multi-year abuse and humiliation expanded to sexual touching and hitting the girl in the breasts and genitalia, followed later by rough penetration.
On one occasion, the victim reported to police that Mullaly said, “I feel like a molester,” Lindsey told the court. “He said ‘I could go to jail for this.’ ”
During some sexual assaults, the girl would cry and he would tell her to stop, or even cover her head because “it makes me feel bad.”
When the victim finally did go to police in February 2018, an investigation was started. Mullaly was arrested quickly, and he admitted to the assaults.
Lindsey also read from a victim impact statement where the girl relayed the significant impact from the years of abuse.
“I feel used, manipulated, hopeless, ashamed… I don’t feel comfortable around male adults, including teachers.
“I have no idea who I can or can’t trust… I feel empty inside and it’s difficult to find happiness.”
The victim was in court during the sentencing hearing supported by her mother and several other people. Mullaly’s wife and two other older women were in court supporting him.
While Lindsey said Mullaly had taken responsibility for his actions by way of a guilty plea, there was some dispute if he really fully admitted to all the sexual assaults, considering he said the abuse happened “five or six times,” yet he admitted to enacting the punishment “whenever he wanted.”
Judge Andrea Ormiston asked Lindsey how the Crown characterized the “punishment” over five years.
“Initially he was charged with extortion,” Lindsey responded. “I’m willing to stay that [criminal charge] provided we have an acknowledgement that he did those things. It helps explain the damage that was done to her.”
The joint submission between Crown and defence counsel Darrel Schultz included one year in jail followed by 18 months probation. Some of the conditions of that probation include a no-contact order, not consuming drugs or alcohol, not accessing pornography, attending counselling, and not erasing search histories on electronic devices and allowing access to those devices by a probation officer.
Schultz told the court that the jail term will have an impact on his work as a handyman, and on his family who will suffer while he is incarcerated.
“They are not the victims here but there is victimization enough to go around from Mr. Mullaly’s conduct,” Schultz said. “He is very regretful for that.”
While the sentencing hearing involved a joint submission, the hearing pushed up against the end of the day on April 12 and Judge Ormiston adjourned the matter to a future date because, she said, the case is serious and required her to fully consider the submissions.
A date for that decision was set to be scheduled on Monday.