When Don MacIntyre was sexually touching his child victim, he justified it by telling her that God had approved the abuse, according to an agreed statement of facts read aloud at the former United Conservative Party MLA’s guilty plea on Friday.
MacIntyre, the former MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, has pleaded guilty to sexual interference while a charge of sexual assault will be withdrawn.
An agreed statement of facts detailing the crime will be read aloud by prosecutor Julie Snowdon in the Red Deer courtroom.
The offence dates are between 2010 and 2011 and involve a female child under the age of 14. A publication ban protects any information that could identify MacIntyre’s victim.
MacIntyre sexually touched his victim five to 10 times over a one-year period beginning in 2010.
“He told her that God said that God was okay with the touching,” reads the agreed statement of facts.
He told the child he had prayed to God about it.
In 2015, the girl told her mother about the abuse and when confronted, MacIntyre immediately confessed but said the sexual abuse was “part of Satan’s plan to destroy child’s faith.”
He then wrote apology letters to his victim.
According to the court document, the girl became suicidal.
On Friday, standing with family members on each side of her, the victim paused at times through her impact statement to gather herself.
“I did not understand that what had happened to me was wrong,” she said.
‘His face was everywhere’
Tormented by confusion, pain and “guilt so heavy it hurt my chest,” the girl said her memories and the effects of the abuse were “destroying” her childhood.
“I began to think that it was my fault,” she said. “It hurt so much.”
Ahead of the 2015 election, MacIntyre’s signs appeared all over his riding.
“Everyone had his signs up,” she said. “His face was everywhere.”
Then he won the election. That was the year the girl finally told her mother about the abuse.
Sexual interference involves touching someone under the age of 16 years of age for a sexual purpose.
A three- to 3½-year prison term would be appropriate, Snowdon told Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Debra Yungwirth.
McKay called his client “a very decent man” who had “one dark period.”
“This is a man that in so many ways has been punished already,” said McKay, arguing MacIntyre has already “lost pretty much everything” and has been subjected to intense, national media coverage.
Wife stands by him but UCP doesn’t
McIntyre’s wife has stood by him through out the charges, McKay noted. She even provided a character reference letter of support.
The United Conservative Party Caucus released a statement immediately after MacIntyre’s plea.
“We hope this disgusting individual faces the full extent of the law in sentencing for his odious crime,” reads the statement.
“Our thoughts remain with the victim and all those affected at this time.”
It’s not yet known if Yungwirth will sentence MacIntyre on Monday or reserve her decision.