Tulita man sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for serious sexual assault in Yellowknife

Travis Menacho's photo was released by Mounties as he was to get out of jail in 2016
(photo courtesy of RCMP)

A man from the Sahtu community of Tulita has been handed a three-year and eight month prison sentence for a ‘serious’ sexual assault on a passed out woman in a Yellowknife hotel room last year.

Travis Menacho, 29, has a long history of sexual violence, some of his sexual offences coming against children.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of sexual assault and was sentenced in a Yellowknife courtroom on Friday.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Menacho was drinking with the victim and a man at a downtown apartment in May of last year when they moved the party to Menacho’s downtown hotel room.

Court heard the visiting man and woman eventually fell asleep.

The woman, who was fully clothed when she fell asleep, awoke to find Menacho sexually assaulting her.

She tried to reach her friend but Menacho held her hand back and put a pillow over her face to muffle her screams.

Court heard the man eventually awoke and the two left the hotel to report the attack to RCMP.

Before being sentenced, Menacho apologized to his victim who was not in the courtroom.

His name was ordered to be placed on the national sex offender registry.

Menacho must also provide a sample of his DNA for the national data base and can not possess a firearm for ten years.

Court heard Menacho has a troubled upbringing with alcoholism with his parents in the home.

He may also be suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and may have been sexually assaulted himself as a child.

Before agreeing to the joint sentencing submission from the Crown prosecutor and Menacho’s lawyer, Judge Garth Malakoe told Menacho that prison will be easy compared to the challenges he will face once he is released.

He said he must now try to tackle his alcohol and sexual deviance addictions while incarcerated.

He implored him to take full advantage of the sexual offender programming that he will be offered in a southern prison.

He also recommended that once Menacho has received sex offender treatment in a southern prison he be considered for transfer to an NWT jail to be closer to family and friends.

Among his previous sex offence victims was a boy and a girl, both eight-years-old at the time.

In August of 2016, RCMP in the NWT took the relatively rare step of issuing a public warning to the public when Menacho was about to be released from the North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC) in Yellowknife.

“Northwest Territories RCMP are warning all citizens, particularly those in Tulita, about a violent sex offender being released from jail, who they say poses a risk of significant harm to the public, the warning stated. “He’s been convicted of sexual assault, sexual interference and failing to comply with a recognizance order.”

Mounties stated that Menacho was required to follow strict restrictions on any activity that involved contact with children under the age of 16.

At the time, police stated that the decision to release such information was made after careful deliberation of all related issues, including privacy concerns.

“It is clearly in the public interest to inform community members,” police stated.

Police added that any form of vigilante activity, or other unreasonable conduct, will not be tolerated.

Menacho, who has remained in custody since his arrest, will have about two and a half years left to serve after taking into account his pre-sentence custody.

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