Warning: This article deals with sexual assault and suicide and may be disturbing for some readers.
The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in favour of increasing the sentence of a former Kelowna man who sexually assaulted a teenager and subsequently shared child pornography of the incident.
A decision rendered by three appellate court judges on April 14, increased Joshua Milne’s total sentence to three-and-a-half years from 14 months.
Court documents state that Milne and the then-17-year-old victim, who is only identified by the initials A.D., were in an intimate relationship for a few months in the summer of 2017 when Milne was 24 years old. Milne went back to Burnaby for school in the fall and the two continued a long-distance relationship for a short while but A.D. eventually tried to end things. Milne claimed he would kill himself if she left him, so she stayed.
A.D. found a new partner and moved to Burnaby with him in October 2017. She still didn’t end her relationship with Milne, due to his ongoing threats he would kill himself.
In November 2017, A.D. visited Milne at his apartment after he again claimed he was suicidal. She said she was tired, so he gave her a sleeping pill and later some Ativan — an anti-anxiety and sedative medication that can cause amnesia. Within a few minutes, A.D. passed out and Milne undressed her, bound her hands and ankles, blindfolded her and sexually assaulted her over the course of five hours. He documented the act with his cellphone and later sent images of the assault to another woman in January 2018.
“Mr. Milne violently exploited and degraded his former intimate partner, who was 17 years old at the time and attempting to help him,” wrote Justice Gail Dickson in the decision. “He took advantage of her trust, rendered her unconscious, and then objectified and violated her, both through his prolonged five-hour attack and by recording his actions on his cellphone. The following morning, rather than provide assistance given her debilitated state, he lied to authorities, which led to her certification under the Mental Health Act and involuntary detention in hospital.”
Milne pleaded guilty to sexual assault and transmitting child pornography in December 2019.
In December 2020, Milne received consecutive sentences for the two convictions, 12 months for sexual assault and two months for child porn, along with three years of probation upon his release.
Now, that sentence has been tossed for a harsher one.
The BC Court of Appeal decided the sentencing judge made several errors, including overemphasizing Milne’s rehabilitative efforts and lessening his culpability due to mental illness.
Milne will now serve two and a half years for the sexual assault, plus a consecutive one-year sentence for the child porn conviction.
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