In the summer of 2006, Craig Jaret Hutchinson found himself in a flagging relationship. Deciding that impregnating his girlfriend would repair the relationship, he secretly poked holes in his condoms.
When she became pregnant, Hutchison sent her a series of text messages informing her of what he had done. The girlfriend, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, called the police.
Hutchinson, 43, was taken into custody on Thursday night. On Friday morning, after nearly seven years of trials, Canada’s top court unanimously upheld Hutchinson’s sexual assault conviction.
He will serve his 18-month jail sentence on a charge of sexual assault.
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The Supreme Court’s 7-0 decision decreed that Hutchinson had deprived the woman of her ability to consent to sex.
“The accused’s condom sabotage constituted fraud…the result that no consent was obtained,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Thomas Cromwell.
Hutchinson’s case has been moving through Nova Scotia’s court system for more than six years. At his first trial, Hutchinson’s actions were deemed “dastardly,” but he was acquitted. The Crown appealed that decision, leading to a second trial in December 2011, at which he was convicted.
In January 2013, Hutchinson appealed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, claiming that his sentence was harsh and excessive, and that the woman voluntarily consented to have sex with him.
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The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal split its decision, which gave Hutchinson an automatic right to appeal and led to his appearance before the Supreme Court.
“The victim had consented to protected sex. Condom-protected sex. She did not consent to unprotected sex,” stated Crown prosecutor Jim Gumpert.
“It’s been hard fought and it’s been draining and so obviously it’s a disappointing outcome,” said Hutchinson’s lawyer Luke Craggs, who described the process as a very long battle. “But, at the very least, there’s a measure of closure in it.”
“I don’t know if there are going to be any other cases like this,” added Craggs. “It’s not every day that we normally hear about someone sabotaging the birth control that a woman was counting on.”
In addition to his 18-month sentence, Hutchinson also gave a DNA sample at his trial. His name was placed on the national sex offender registry.
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