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Fake nurse who fondled N.L. retirement home resident should get 18 months, Crown argues

·2 min read
Christopher Power, shown here in provincial court in Harbour Grace in November 2020, was a personal-care worker in a Bay Roberts retirement home at the time of his crime. (Ryan Cooke/CBC - image credit)
Christopher Power, shown here in provincial court in Harbour Grace in November 2020, was a personal-care worker in a Bay Roberts retirement home at the time of his crime. (Ryan Cooke/CBC - image credit)

A man who faked nursing credentials and fondled an elderly retirement home resident under his care in Bay Roberts could spend the better part of the next two years behind bars.

Prosecution argued Tuesday that Christopher Power, 44, found guilty of fraud and sexual assault in October, should serve 18 months for his actions the night of Aug. 16, 2020.

The court previously heard from a witness, Power's coworker, that Power had been standing over the assault survivor's bed as he slept, touching his genitals through his pants.

The witness testified Power stopped when he noticed her in the doorway, and later told her she "didn't see" what she thought she saw.

That witness called police, who later uncovered Power had forged a background check and lied in his job application about being a licensed practical nurse.

Crown attorney Tim O'Brien repeatedly argued in Harbour Grace provincial court during sentencing submissions on Tuesday that Power had breached a position of trust as a caretaker of the elderly man.

He compared the assault to related cases in which a medical professional had sexually touched a patient without their consent.

O'Brien also referred to Power's previous convictions on sexual violence charges in the late 1990s. Power spent time in jail for those convictions.

"While they're dated, they're related and relevant," O'Brien argued, suggesting the repeat offence reflected a lack of remorse on Power's part.

He also asked for an additional 90-day sentence on the fraud charge for faking a background check and a $1,000 fine for breaching the LPN Act.

Defence lawyer Jeffrey Slade asked the court for a sentence of six months for the sexual assault and 30 to 60 days for fraud.

Judge Jacqueline Brazil will hand down her sentence Jan. 10.

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