WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find disturbing.
A North Vancouver Island man has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars after pleading guilty to repeatedly molesting a girl in his neighbourhood and her friend.
Edward Bolderson, 79, pleaded guilty to two separate counts of touching a child for a sexual purpose in provincial court in Port Hardy, according to court documents released in October.
Judge Barbara Flewelling sentenced Bolderson to 30 months behind bars, but due to 12 months’ credit for time served, the sentence was reduced to 18 months.
According to court documents, one of the victims was abused over the span of two years, since she was about six years old. The other, who was nine at the time, was molested once.
The girls knew Bolderson as “Grandpa Gary,” and someone who kept his house open to the kids in the neighbourhood, court documents show.
Bolderson, during the span of 10 visits with one of the victims, admitted to having “licked her belly” and the victim’s genitals. He also stated that he believed one of the victims brought the other to his house to “do it to her,” the court documents read, and “she wanted to watch me do her girlfriend.”
In a victim impact statement, one of the victims’ father said there may be long-term consequences in his child’s behavior from Bolderon’s actions.
The other girl, who is now nine years old, also wrote a victim impact statement, which was read by Flewelling.
“She is afraid not only of Mr. Bolderson, but ‘other bad guys’ living in her community and wants him to stay away from her. She said that she didn’t want anyone to know what he did to her,” Flewelling said.
In her ruling, Flewelling said some of Bolderson’s actions could be viewed as “efforts to groom” the victims. “His attitude about these offences is troubling,” she added.
In her ruling, Flewelling considered mitigating factors, which included the convicted having no prior record of this kind of offence. The judge also took into consideration his guilty plea and his “previous good character.”
Bolderson had volunteered at a local food bank, though the document does not confirm for how long.
Flewelling also placed conditions on Bolderson after his release. He will be prohibited from contacting the victims or going within 100-metres of the victims’ homes.
After serving his year and a half in prison, he will be placed on probation for the following three years.
The convicted has a prohibition order lasting five years, which restricts him from attending any public space, like a park or swimming pool, where individuals under 16 years old would reasonably be expected to be present. He is also restricted from working or volunteering in any capacity which may involve any person under 16 years old.
Bolderson will also have to register as a sex offender.
Bolderson, who is now retired from working as a tugboat operator, was convicted before in the U.S. for “conspiracy to import marijuana” back in 2002. He previously spent nearly 4 years in U.S. custody.