Crown wins appeal: Archibald sent to prison 0
The Alberta Court of Appeal agreed with the Red Deer Crown that the house arrest sentence for a Lacombe man convicted of three charges of indecent assault was "unfit."
The higher court overturned Judge T. Schollie's 18-month conditional sentence he handed down to Mark Archibald Feb. 17 and sent Archibald to prison June 28.
Justice's Peter Martin, Jack Watson and J.D. Bruce McDonald, in their decision, said Archibald's case was unique since he has led an exemplary life in the 32 years since the assaults occurred and has dedicated his life to serving others.
But, they said on the flip side, Canada's Criminal Code says that the abuse of a child by a person of trust is an aggravating factor and denunciation and deterrence should be given primary consideration.
The justices imposed a 12-month prison sentence on each of the three counts to be served concurrently.
Archibald, 56, committed the assaults when he was a youth pastor and director at a Central Alberta Christian camp when he was about 24 years old. The three victims were between 14 and 15 years old at the time.
Judge Thomas Schollie, in his sentencing in February, said that more than 30 years have passed and there haven't been any more incidents and he characterized Archibald's behaviour decades ago as "a moment of unexplainable conduct."
Schollie added that Archibald entering a plea of guilty has made it easier on the Crown and has spared the victims of having to relive their trauma in court.
"There was absolutely no violence associated with it," said Schollie.
Schollie said he is convinced Archibald is not a pedophile.
"There was a time his mind was not working correctly," said Schollie. "His father asked him to run over him because he didn't want to live. Clearly, he did have things to think about."
Judge Schollie said, regarding the 41 letters of support for Archibald, that several of the individuals have had their children in Archibald's care and have had absolutely no complaints.
"Forty-one people are proud to say they know him," said Schollie.
He added that Archibald stood up in front of his entire church in Lacombe and apologized for his actions and admitted to his wife what he had done.
"That takes a lot of courage," said Schollie.
"This is a unique type of case," added Schollie, saying Archibald displayed a short period of "foolishness" and since then has worked hard to redeem himself and has come close to that.
"He has a tremendous amount of support from his community," he added.
The mother (who can't be identified because of a court ordered publication ban) said she failed her son by allowing him to go with Archibald as a youth to a hotel room in Calgary.
She said her son is a gentle and spiritual soul who has experienced tremendous guilt from the incident.
"He's really been affected," she said, adding she didn't think justice was given to her son. "He has suffered and (the assault) threw him into a tail spin."