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Sturgeon Lake man receives three year sentence for molesting teen boys PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:50

George Sanderson. Photo courtesy Facebook.

Surprise pleas were entered on Tuesday in a James Smith Cree Nation and Sturgeon Lake molestation case.

The offender, 23-year-old George Sanderson, has pleaded guilty to five charges: two of sexual interference, one of making child pornography and two of distributing child pornography. This relates to boys who were between the ages of 13 and 15 when Sanderson first started communicating with them via Snapchat and Facebook, and his offences occurred on both reserves. The identity of all victims are protected by a publication ban.

Sanderson’s offences included one young teen victim who he started a sexual relationship with in early 2015, a 15-year-old victim who Sanderson took explicit images and videos of before July of 2016, and a 14-year-old victim who he kissed and touched sexually on a James Smith school playground in October of 2016.

All images Sanderson sent via Snapchat were sent to other victims, and the images and video of the third were found on Sanderson’s iPad after he told his first victim that "he was dating another person" – the 15-year-old victim – but told the first victim that he "would end the relationship in order to be with" him, according to documents sent to MBC by Crown Prosecutor Shawn Blackman.

The Internet Child Exploitation Unit investigation into Sanderson’s activities started after a complaint came in on Oct. 20, 2016 and he was arrested eight days later. Sanderson was denied bail on Nov. 3, 2016.

The matters were set to go to a preliminary hearing this week in Prince Albert court, but lawyers instead came to court geared with a joint submission.

Blackman says the Prince Albert judge accepted the agreed three-year sentence, which comes with two years of probation and strict orders to stay away from parks and playgrounds for 20 years. Sanderson will also not be allowed to be in a position of trust or authority with anyone under the age of 16.

Plans to go to trial were nixed and an agreement reached due to "a number of factors such as strengths and weaknesses of the Crown case, possible Defences and Charter Applications associated strengths and weaknesses," Blackman wrote in an e-mail.

Because of time served, the remainder of Sanderson’s sentence falls just under two years, and it’s expected he will serve his time at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre.

Sanderson’s lawyer Ron Piche could not be reached for comment in time for publication.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:53
Saskatchewan Indigenous columnist again recognized by Native American Journalists Association PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:40

Doug Cuthand. Photo courtesy of Strong Nations.

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation weekly columnist Doug Cuthand has received another honour from the Native American Journalists Association.

Cuthand finished as the runner-up in the Print - Best Column category of the 2017 National Native Media Awards. The honour was for Cuthand's column entitled, "Smart, friendly, tough gray jay ideal choice for national bird."

This is not the first time Cuthand has been recognized by NAJA. He has been honoured by the association 10 times since 1993 -- and has twice won the award for Best Column.

His column can be read each Saturday in the Star-Phoenix and heard each Monday on MBC's "The North at Noon".


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:44
Merasty leaving English River’s economic development arm PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:20

Gary Merasty. Photo courtesy of desnedhe.com

A former northern Saskatchewan Member of Parliament is stepping down as CEO of the English River First Nation's economic development entity.

Gary Merasty has been the president and CEO of Des Nedhe Development for the past four years. Former Cameco executive Sean Willy is taking over both roles.

Merasty will continue to serve as a special advisor to the CEO through the transition. He is being credited with initiating an independent board governance model to improve English River's business practices.

"We are grateful to Gary for his vision and for bringing strong, stable management to Des Nedhe," said Chief Lawrence (Labada) McIntyre in a release. "He put our businesses on the right path and prepared Des Nedhe for the future."

Merasty says now is the time to leave.

"My goal was to strengthen Des Nedhe's foundation," said Merasty in a release. "I know we have the governance model, business structure and people in place for long-term success for English River."

Willy has most recently been Des Nedhe's vice president, having joined the company in July of last year. He has 20 years of experience in the mining industry with Cameco and Rio Tinto.

Willy is also a co-chair of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, chair of Northern Career Quest and serves on the board of the Global Indigenous Trust.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:29
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