A well-known Labrador businessman has been sentenced to six months in jail for sexual assault and sexual interference against a person under the age of 16.
Warwick Pike, 78, a former owner of Air Labrador, was found guilty of the charges by a jury on Dec. 5, 2017 and sentenced today.
The offenses happened in two separate incidents, one in the 1990s and the other in 2000. The identity of the child he assaulted — now a woman — is protected by a publication ban.
Pike was given two months for the count of sexual interference and four months for the sexual assault charge. A second sexual assault charge was stayed.
Pike’s lawyer, Randy Piercey, had asked for a conditional sentence order (CSO) so Pike wouldn’t serve the time in jail, but at home. Judge Frances Knickle said she didn’t feel a CSO was appropriate.
“It is clear from the many letters of support filed on his behalf that (Pike) has significant support in the community. However, it must also be noted that the prominence and good reputation and character of an individual in the community is often the very attribute that permits the offender to commit these kinds of crimes.” — Judge Frances Knickle
After he serves his time, Pike will be on probation for two years and, as is mandatory in such cases, will be registered as a sex offender.
The sexual assault and sexual interference involved touching the child in intimate areas outside her clothing. He asked her not to tell anyone since it would damage his personal and business relationships.
Knickle said in sentencing Pike that while the offenses were on the lower end of the spectrum for a crime of this type, but they are still very serious. One of the main aggravating factors, Knickle said, was that the victim trusted Pike and he took advantage of that.
Pike, who maintains his innocence, had presented more than 30 letters of support from friends and local businesses.
“It is clear from the many letters of support filed on his behalf that (Pike) has significant support in the community,” Knickle said. “However, it must also be noted that the prominence and good reputation and character of an individual in the community is often the very attribute that permits the offender to commit these kinds of crimes.”
Knickle said Pike’s prominence came at the cost of his victim’s silence and the young woman had testified that one of the reasons she stayed silent for so long was because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.
As part of his sentence Pike has to undergo whatever counselling he is ordered to complete. Pike and his lawyer said he didn’t need counselling, which Knickle said she found troubling and one of the reasons she denied a CSO.