A 42-year-old Mount Currie man was sentenced to two years probation for voyeurism in Pemberton Provincial Court on Tuesday, Dec. 12, following joint submissions by lawyers for the Crown and the defence.
Alexander Wells, a renowned First Nations hoop dancer, pleaded guilty on Oct. 24 to one count of attempting to unlawfully observe or record someone in the shower in the February 2017 offense.
Specific details of the offense are covered by a publication ban protecting the identity of the victim.
Conditions of the sentence include no contact, directly or indirectly, with the victim, no contact with any female under the age of 16 unless in the presence of a responsible adult, regular check-ins with a probation officer, and counselling.
Two other charges related to making and possessing child pornography were not pursued, as Crown counsel Joseph Marin found it was not in the position to prove that any recording was in fact made, or that there was an attempt to make a recording.
As such, rules around the sex offender registry do not apply.
Wells, who has no previous criminal record, appeared visibly remorseful during his sentence hearing. The fact he pleaded guilty and has no prior convictions was taken into account by Crown counsel in sentencing.
During the sentencing, Wells' lawyer, Michael Smith, spoke of his client's difficult upbringing marked by addiction and abuse. Wells left home at 13 years old, eventually making his way to Vancouver where he became a successful hoop dancer.
"He's been doing that to support himself and his family for his adult life. He's very sought after for that," Smith told the court and Judge John R. Milne.
Wells has already begun counselling, and in a letter detailed in court, his clinical counsellor said Wells is greatly respected for his devotion to traditional First Nations dancing, has a "sincere desire to heal himself," and that there is "no risk to society from Mr. Wells."