Sentencing hearing begins for Ndilo man convicted of two counts of sexaul assault, one count of forcible confinement

Yellowknife Courthouse (CKLB File photo).

A sentencing hearing began in Supreme Court in Yellowknife Thursday for a Ndilo man convicted of two counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement.

Peter Tsetta, 50, was found guilty by a judge in August.

Court heard he held two women against their will at his home in Ndilo, an Indigenous community that is part of Yellowknife, on two separate occasions a month apart in 2017 and sexually assaulted them.

Tsetta’s lawyer is asking for a five-year prison sentence while the Crown prosecutor wants a ten-year term.

The first victim has since passed away but Tsetta’s second victim is to read her victim impact statement in court Thursday.

She says she has been both physically and psychological harmed and traumatized by Tsetta’s actions.

The woman, whose name is protected by a publication ban, testified Tsetta sexually assaulted her numerous times over several hours before she was able to escape.

She is also furious with the Justice of the Peace who freed Tsetta on bail after he was charged in the first attack.

The woman has also called out the RCMP who issued a news release after the first incident, telling the public as they searched for him, that Tsetta was not a threat to public safety.

She says she heard that and believed the Mounties and said that’s why she didn’t feel afraid to go to Tsetta’s home to drink with him.

CKLB asked Mounties how they could deem a man wanted for a sexual assault and forcible confinement not a risk to public safety.

The Mounties have since defended the news release and their actions.

“With the information available at the time, a release March 30, 2017, requesting public assistance in locating Mr. Tsetta was issued. Information at the time did not indicate a public safety risk.  Mr. Tsetta was taken into custody that same day, without public safety threat,” stated Marie York-Condon, spokesperson for the RCMP.

The woman and Tsetta swore at each other in the courtroom in August after Tsetta had been found guilty.

An RCMP officer quickly stepped in to ensure there was no physical contact between the two.

The judge is listening to submissions from both sides Thursday and is expected to release her decision on the length of the sentence on Friday.

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.