The Court sought to impose a sentence which took into consideration both the crimes and circumstances relevant to the particular case and defendant. In doing so, the Court noted the defendant’s experiences as a Black man who experienced systemic discrimination throughout his life, akin to Gladue factors used in the sentencing priniciples for Indigenous offenders. The Court found that while this should be considered as a mitigating factor, given that this is a sex trade related offence, deterrence and denunciation must ultimately be considered as paramount sentencing objectives here. The Court concluded by imposing a global sentence of four years and six months.
The offender, J.G. was convicted of five criminal counts relating to his active involvement in the complainant’s work in the sex trade industry. The complainant is a minor who sought out J.G. to assist her in setting up and managing a sex trade enterprise. J.G. provided her with guidance on how to carry out the trade and received 50 percent of the complainant’s sex trade earnings.
The central area of contention within this case revolves around the Court’s objective to determine a fair and just sentence. In doing this, the Court sought to consider the circumstances of the offender and the offence, which involved an assessment of relevant mitigating and aggravating factors.
In assessing these factors, the Court noted several aggravating factors, including the young age of the complainant, who was 17 at the time J.G. oversaw her work in the sex trade. J.G.’s material benefit from the sex trade work, and the fact that he had a lengthy criminal record which included a former conviction and sentence for a sex trade related offence were also considered to be aggravating factors.
Mitigating factors taken into account included several aspects of the defendant’s personal circumstances, including his young age of only 27 years old, and his experiences as a Black man and thus member of a racialized community. Specifically related to J.G.’s social history, the Court noted that given that systemic racism against Black people is a notorious fact, it is not necessary for a Black offender to prove its impacts before it can be considered a mitigating factor, akin to Gladue factors used in the overall consideration for sentencing Indigenous offenders.
The Court concluded that while rehabilitation must remain an importance objective to consider, deterrence and denunciation must still be considered as the paramount sentencing objectives here given that this is a sex trade related offence. In balancing these sentencing objective as well as the aggravating and mitigating factors, the Court found that the appropriate sentence here is four years and six months.