Crown wants 8-year prison sentence for ex-Fort Smith man convicted of having sex with underage girls in Yk

Convicted sex offender Joshua 'Taz' Desjarlais

A judge in Yellowknife is to sentence a man who is originally from Fort Smith on June 28 after she convicted him in April of three counts of sexual assault for having sex with three underage girls.

Supreme Court Judge Shannon Smallwood presided over a sentencing hearing Thursday for Joshua “Taz” Desjarlais, 27.

The judge found Desjarlais guilty of having sex with two 14 year-old girls and a 15-year-old girl over a two-week span in September of 2017 in Yellowknife.

Desjarlais, 25 at the time, claimed that he thought all three were of age and that the sex was consensual.

The age of consent to have sex with an adult in Canada is 16.

During his trial the victims testified that Desjarlais plied them with cocaine and alcohol.

The Crown prosecutor in the case is calling for an eight-year prison sentence – three years each for the two girls the Crown says Desjarlais knew were underage and two years for the other girl whom he may have believed was of age.

Desjarlais’ lawyer called for a sentence of between two and a half and four years.

It was also revealed in court Thursday that Desjarlais, who’s been in custody since October 2017, was sentenced to 60 days in jail last year for threatening a corrections officer at the North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC) in late 2017.

Desjarlais is also accused of sending letter to two of his victims, trying to talk them out of testifying against him.

He was not charged for that but the Crown says it should be a factor in sentencing.

The prosecutor is also calling for Desjarlais’ name to be added to the national sex offender registry for life.

His victims were not in court for the sentencing hearing.








About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.