Teen sentenced as an adult in Roger Creek assault case

Alberni teenager sentenced as adult for raping exchange student.

A Port Alberni teenager was sentenced Tuesday in adult court to six years in prison for raping a 15-year old exchange student in Roger Creek Park on May 21, 2013.

Thomas Titian, 17, sat silently in the prisoner’s box as Crown Counsel Gordon Baines described an hour long series of violent sexual assaults, and brutal physical assaults against the young girl.

Titian sat hunched over as Judge Peter Doherty described him as “a 6’2, 240 lb. man-child”.

The victim, who cannot be identified, was described as being a fraction of Titian’s size when he pounced on her near the Roger Creek train trestle and dragged her into the woods.

When she was found an hour later, she was mostly naked, bleeding heavily from head-wounds sustained after Titian beat her with large river rocks.

She was rushed to West Coast General Hospital and soon after airlifted to Victoria General due to the severity of her injuries, and remained hospitalized for two weeks.

She was able to give police a description of her assailant, including the fact that he was wearing a red ball cap, which proved important in arresting him the next day when he returned to the scene.

Titian, who had been in the foster-care system from the age of four because of abusive and alcoholic parents, was also reported to police by his foster mother.

When he returned home around 6 p.m. on May 21, 2013, he took his pants off in the garage, saying they had gotten muddy at school. Suspicious, the foster mother called the high school where someone refuted his story, and after hearing police were searching for a suspect in a violent sexual assault, she called police.

Titian pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and choking to overcome resistance. A charge of attempted murder was later stayed.

Both Crown Counsel and Defense Counsel Stephen Littley agreed that the maximum three-year sentence for youth was not appropriate in this case, and said Titian should be sentenced as an adult for six years.

In sentencing, Judge Doherty called the attack “a sustained, vicious, repeated, horrifying assault”.

Citing the volumes of victim impact statements, psychological reports, and criminal assessments that concluded Titian might not be treatable, Doherty said this was one of the most thoroughly reported youth matters he had ever seen.

The court heard that Titian was tortured as an infant and toddler by his alcoholic parents, which is where “the ticking time-bomb that is Mr. Titian was made”, said Doherty.

“He is a highly dangerous, violent individual who is likely to reoffend.”

Titian will serve the first two years of his six-year sentence in a youth detention center, until he reaches the age of 18, when the court can apply to have him moved to a federal prison.

 

David Wiwchar is the news director at 93.3 PEAK FM.

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