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Historical Cambridge sex assaults land man 66-month jail term

Victim was 13 at the time of the first assault
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A man who sexually assaulted a Cambridge girl several times over 20 years ago has been handed a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Godfrey Senwasane, now 61, was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual interference following a jury trial last October.

Justice Michael Gibson delivered his written sentence last week.

He sentenced Senwasane to five-and-a-half years on each of the sexual assault convictions, to be served concurrently. The other convictions were stayed.

The crown had asked for a sentence of five and a half years. The defence asked for between two years less a day and four years, also mentioning that a conditional sentence was an option.

The victim, who worked part time at a business owned by the Senwasane family, was 13, 15 and 16 when Senwasane sexually assaulted her on three occasions from 1998 to 2001. Senwasane was 24 years her senior at the time of the assaults.

The victim's identity is protected by court order.

In her victim impact statement, the victim recounted the impact the offences have had "on her education, her employment, her marriage, her children, her relationships, and her physical and mental health and well-being. She described experiencing flashbacks and feeling triggered by events, and the sense of debilitating trauma she still experiences."

The judge noted that Senwasane "does not accept responsibility for the offences, and has not expressed any remorse.  This is not an aggravating factor, but rather the absence of a mitigating factor."

Other mitigating circumstances affecting sentencing included the age of the victim, the fact it happened several times over an extended period of time, a breach of trust was involved (he was the victim's supervisor) and the crimes had a significant impact on the victim.

"Sexual violence against children that is committed on multiple occasions and for longer periods of time, as was the case here where the offences extended over a three-year period, should attract significantly higher sentences that reflect the full cumulative gravity of the crime and the offender's increased degree of responsibility," the judge's sentence reads.

Senwasane will also be placed on the national sex offender registry and is prohibited from being around anyone under the age of 16 other than family for life.

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