Former Calgary Stampeders running back, 37-year-old Jerome Messam received an 18-month suspended sentence after he pled guilty to a voyeurism charge earlier in 2021. While Messam will not be going to jail, he will nonetheless have a criminal record.
On Monday afternoon at the Court of King's Bench, Justice Aprile Grosse said that a conditional discharge would not be an appropriate sentencing in this case.
"In this case, it would not be proportional, particularly to the gravity of the offence," Justice Grosse told the court.
Messam and the victim, whose name is under a publication ban, had followed each other on social media in November 2016 before they arranged to meet. During a sexual encounter, Messam, without the woman's consent video recorded their sexual activity.
In February 2017, the victim learned of the existence of the video recording after Messam had sent four short video clips of their tryst over Snapchat. He never shared the video clips with anyone else and would later delete the clips. In April 2018, the woman brought a complaint against Messam to the CFL and would also file a police report. The CFL terminated Messam's contract.
On Monday afternoon at the Court of King's Bench, Justice Aprile Grosse said that while the former CFL player did not try to use the video to threaten the victim, nor did he distribute it to others, she impressed upon Messam did violate the woman's privacy.
"It is difficult to think of another circumstance in which a person would reasonably have a higher expectation of privacy or feel more violated by a breach," she said. "The bottom line is that offences of this nature must be significantly denunciated and deterred."
Justice Grosse said that she accepted that Messam was genuinely sorry for what he did, though she did underline that through his remarks to the court, Messam continued to downplay the consequences of his actions, in particular, how it has impacted the victim.
" I find that he does not have insight into the full extent of the seriousness of what he did, or the harm caused to [the victim] as he continues to downplay those, particularly in comparison to the loss he feels that he has suffered."
Messam was not present in person during his sentencing in Calgary on Monday but instead appeared via video call.
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