Adult sentence for brutal attack on girl, 4 0
A City of Kawartha Lakes OPP officer is seen parked in front of the Woodville/Eldon Community Centre after a four-year-old girl was assaulted on Monday, Oct. 18, 2010. A Woodville teen pleaded guilty in the case in Lindsay court on Tuesday.
LINDSAY - A Woodville teenager pleaded guilty Tuesday to punching and kicking a four year old girl and leaving her for dead in long grass, covered by a culvert, outside the Woodville arena.
Tyson Leeder, 18, pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement, invitation to sexual touching and aggravated assault of the girl last Oct. 18.
Leeder will receive an adult sentence because the court considers it a serious violent offence. As a result, Leeder can now be named for the first time although there is a publication ban on anything that could lead to the identification of his young victim.
Assistant Crown Attorney Rebecca Griffin presented evidence indicating Leeder knew what he was doing. She said the Leeder's Internet browsing history from Oct. 5 to Nov. 16, 2010 found activity related to sexual content. Specifically, on Oct. 10, there were searches under "how to get away with rape," "how to rape" and "rape." She said the boy was also watching internet pornography.
Justice Lisa Cameron heard that Leeder - for whom the Woodville arena was a second home because he worked as a junior maintenance person, played, refereed and time kept hockey - was at the arena for a staff meeting.
Griffin said that after the meeting, Leeder stood around the women's washroom "waiting for an opportunity to enter and commit a sexual assault."
She said he first checked the men's exterior washroom door to see if he could gain access to the women's in the same way.
After two adult women came and went, the little girl, whose mother was only a few feet away, went into the washroom alone.
Leeder went outside and used his key to enter the washroom, then locked the inside door so no one could come in.
"Hi, how are you?" Leeder asked his victim when she emerged from a stall.
"Good," she said.
He told her he wanted to show her his "pee pee" and forced her outside behind a large blue storage shed. He exposed himself to her. However, the girl began to scream and Leeder grabbed and then repeatedly punched and kicked her until she was "silent and still". Believing that she was dead, he then carried her to the long grass and set her down, placing a 120-pound culvert on the girl's 34-pound body.
Leeder left just before 6:30 p.m., returning home to smoke marijuana, have a shower and play video games, before returning to the arena for hockey practice.
Another arena employee heard a sound like an injured animal and found the girl, her face barely visible beneath the culvert. She was taken to Ross Memorial Hospital, later airlifted to Toronto, with extensive external and internal injuries. She remained in hospital for six days.
Griffin said Leeder was interviewed by police five times after the attack and DNA on the girl's sleeve was linked to him. Further, the girl's mother was randomly looking at Facebook pictures one day, when a photo of Leeder came up on the screen. The girl said: "Mommy, he's a bad guy. The boy that hurt me, he's scary. He's in jail, right?"
In the aftermath of the attack, Leeder also used the internet to search media reports on the case, Crime Stoppers, the sexual offender registry, pedophiles and Russell Williams.
Speaking to the impact on the victim, Griffin said she missed three-and-a-half-weeks of school, and received some counseling, but it was difficult introducing her back into the public environment. Initially, her mother had to attend school with her. She was shy in dance class. She also has issues with males aged 15-25.
Leeder's lawyer, Denis Lowry, acknowledged they were serious, violent offences but indicated that his client was pleading not guilty to aggravated sexual assault.
He also requested an updated medical report on the girl, believing her injuries had now healed.
As the substantially agreed upon statement of facts was read, and photos of the crime scene and victim were shown, Leeder, bespectacled and dressed in a green shirt and dark slacks, hung his head in his hands while members of his and the victim's family openly cried in Lindsay Court.
Leeder remains in custody.
The matter returns to Lindsay Court Dec. 6 when it is expected a date will be set for sentencing.
Prior to that, psychiatrist Dr. Mark Pearce of the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health will provide an additional assessment for the court since Griffin said there is a moderate to high risk of re-offending. The court already has a Youth Criminal Justice Act assessment before it.