LETHBRIDGE – A young man who was sexually assaulted as a child over a number of years can now speak publicly about what happened and take steps to help others facing similar circumstances.
A publication ban covering his identity as a victim of sexual assault was lifted Monday, Feb. 5. However, due to another publication ban that remains in effect, he is unable to be identified.
The man was sexually assaulted by Jamey Brian Kristian when he was between the ages of 10 and 14. Kristian also admitted to sex crimes against two other young boys and taking surreptitious photos of boys in change rooms at Nicholas Sheran and Stan Siwik pools in Lethbridge.
In delivering his ruling, Judge Derek Redman said the decision came down to two questions: Did the court have the jurisdiction to remove the publication ban, and if so, should it?
He explained that the court did have the jurisdiction, as the circumstances requiring the ban changed with the victim wanting his name revealed. While noting that in past cases where publication bans have been lifted it came with the consent of the Crown, the fact that they adjusted their stance to “no position” in this matter was enough, after initially opposing it. Redman added that removing the ban also fit with giving victims of crime more rights under Canadian law.
Moving to the question of whether he should do it, Redman said he needed to consider an argument made by Kristian’s lawyer, who suggested that such a move should wait until after his client’s parole. He said the added attention and possible details being released could harm Kristian, due to the way sex offenders are perceived by other inmates. To that, Redman stated that the publication ban was for the protection of the victim, not the offender. He also noted that lifting the ban in regard to one victim would not compromise the bans that are in effect for the other two.
Having reviewed everything, Redman then asked the man to stand, informing him that the ban had been rescinded.
“It's a big sigh of relief, knowing that I am now able to tell my story to those who may need to hear it,” the now 21-year-old man said outside the Lethbridge Courthouse. “It was a grueling process for sure, but it was definitely worth all of the effort that was put into it.”
He admitted that Redman was right to deny his application the first time he made it in 2016, saying he hadn’t fully considered all of the possible outcomes back then.
“I now know not to fear fear, I suppose,” he added. “Given that, as the judge said, he has accepted that I have taken careful consideration into the potential repercussions that could come from it. So, once he accepted that, I think that was a huge turning point.”
Moving forward, he says he hopes to make a career out of using everything he has been through to help others.
“Psychologist at some point, hopefully,” he said of his intended career path. “Maybe even focusing on the effect of trauma. Having gone through it might give me a huge, helpful insight.
“It's nice to know now that I'm able to move on, move past this, be there for support for others and move on with my own healing process.”
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