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Sentencing adjourned in sex assault case

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Taber Times

The sentencing hearing for a man convicted of sexually assaulting two boys more than a decade ago had to be adjourned Monday when a key player in the case never showed up for court.It wasn’t the accused who didn’t show up, however, it was the judge.  

Court was informed that Madam Justice Kim Nixon was ill and unable to attend the hearing in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.Nixon was expected to sentence Jorden Van Voorthuizen, who was convicted Sept. 20, 2013 on two counts  of sexual assault.

The jury found Van Voorthuizen, who was extradited from Greece where he was living to face the charges, sexually assaulted the boys between 1995 and 2001 while he lived in Taber.

Now adults, the men testified during trial that Van Voorthuizen touched them sexually, and engaged in other sexual activities with them on numerous occasions. The men cannot be identified under a court-ordered publication ban.

Van Voorthuizen testified the assaults never occurred, although he  admitted one of the boys tried to initiate sexual contact with him on two occasions. He rejected both advances, he told court.

Voorthuizen was to be sentenced Feb. 4 but the hearing was adjourned after the judge rejected a joint recommendation by Crown and defence counsels for a 10-year prison sentence. Nixon said she was having “difficulty accepting the joint submission,” which she indicated may be too high when compared to sentences handed down in similar cases.

The matter will be back in court March 10 to set a new date for sentencing.

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