Despite the suggestion from a prosecutor for a three-year prison sentence, a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Monday ordered a Cameroonian national to serve 90 days behind bars on weekends for the 2017 sexual assault of a Kamloops woman — a much shorter sentence that will decrease the likelihood he is deported.
Franck Tayo Tompouba was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops.
The man, now 25, was living in Williams Lake in 2017 when he met a Kamloops woman on Tinder, a dating app. They arranged to meet on Sept. 22, 2017.
After a night out, the pair returned to the woman’s house, where they kissed and got into bed. The woman told Tayo Tompouba she did not want to have sex, but awoke to find him having sex with her.
Tayo Tompouba was convicted following a trial in front of B.C. Supreme Court Justice Len Marchand, who found the man had an honest, but mistaken, belief the woman had consented.
During sentencing submissions last month, Crown prosecutor Leah Winters said the usual range of prison time for a sexual assault involving intercourse is between two and six years. She sought three years for Tayo Tompouba.
Being a permanent resident from Cameroon, Tayo Tompouba would face certain deportation if he received a jail sentence of six months or longer. A sentence of less than six months, court heard, would allow him to appeal a deportation order.
Tayo Tompouba has two children in Canada and he sends money to help ailing relatives in Cameroon, court heard.
Marchand said he weighed the impact deportation might have on those relying on Tayo Tompouba when reaching his decision on a sentence.
“Mr. Tayo Tompouba made a mistake — a monumental mistake — but did not attempt to hurt the complainant. I also accept that Mr. Tayo Tompouba, as he put it, is ‘not a bad guy,’” Marchand said, calling Tayo Tompouba’s circumstances “compelling.”
“Men must not make assumptions on consent. Men must understand that yes means yes and everything else means no. … I do not want to be taken as minimizing any of the offences or anything Mr. Tayo Tompouba has done. Mr. Tayo Tompouba honestly, but mistakenly, believed the complainant was consenting to having sex with him.”
In addition to the jail time, Tayo Tompouba will spend three years on probation and must register as a sex offender for 20 years. He will also be required to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.
“While jail is required, restraint is also in order,” Marchand said. “In my view, any lengthier sentence would have an unfairly harsh impact on Mr. Tayo Tompouba’s children and his family in Cameroon.”