Tim Mountford, 53, pleaded guilty in March to a 2007 second-degree rape and child sexual abuse charge. He has been free on a reduced bail of $15,000. His $150,000 bail was reduced on Oct. 12, 2009.
On the second-degree rape conviction, District Judge Robert Haney sentenced Mountford to 15 years and then suspended seven years. On the child abuse charge, Haney ordered Mountford to serve one year in the county jail and fined him $5,000. Both sentences are to run concurrently.
“You had a duty not to do harm” Haney said during the hearing to Mountford.
Winston Connor II, Mountford’s attorney, argued for probation and weekend and night confinement at the county jail.
The presentence investigation report stated Mountford was a very low risk to offend again and that he took full responsibility and didn’t blame the victim [he gets points for that?] and he did not seek her out [because he didn't have to!], Connor said. Mountford testified that he waived his preliminary hearing and trial just so the victim would not have to testify. He also testified that he voluntarily entered a sex offender program.
Haney didn’t go along with Connor’s recommendation and said he was going to impose prison time.
“You can be a good guy, and pay your child support but I’m not letting a message go out the door you can have sex with your ward,” Haney said. “You are not going to get away with it.”
“It’s not her fault,” Mountford said of the victim. “I deserve to be punished, but I have been paying for this. I have lost my family, my home, and my job.”
“I am pleased with the sentence,” said the victim, who attended the sentencing with her mother [what mother? Natural? Adoptive? Foster?].
“It could have been longer,” said the victim’s mother about the sentence.
Mountford and his estranged wife Vicki, had cared for 10 to 15 foster children in the 22-year marriage. The Mountfords also ran a day-care center from Feb. 7, 2002, to July 15, 2006, according to the Department of Human Services. They stopped accepting foster children and voluntarily closed the day care. [One can only wonder ho many other victim there are!]
The Mountfords became the legal guardians of the victim after she was raped and impregnated at the age of 11. [OMG!!]
“He was supposed to take care of this child,” referring to the victim, “but instead he took care of his needs,” said Nick Lelecas, assistant district attorney.
In the first sexual abuse case, Tommy James Isbell, 38, of Jay pleaded guilty in 2004 to four counts of first-degree rape and 12 counts of forcible sodomy and was sentenced to life in prison. He had been having sex with the child since she was 9, [OMG!] according to a Jay Police Department report.
The victim’s first child, a daughter, was born with birth defects and died a few weeks after birth.
The victim’s second child, a daughter, turned 3 on May 28. A paternity test determined a 99.99 percent likelihood Mountford is the father of the child. Mountford is also paying $203 a month in child support for this child.
Matina Garner, Mountford’s stepdaughter, has adopted the child and has an open adoption with the victim. [Give me a BREAK!! The victim has to be re-victimized every time she visits her baby!!]
“I wanted her (Garner) to adopt her,” the victim said. [Oh, well, then! She WANTED her! So that makes this insanity all well and good!]
After having the courage to come forward to police about a foster father who had sexually abused her since age 11 and impregnated her at age 14, she also asked the court to lift the publication ban on the name of the abuser.
And yet the Sudbury and Manitoulin District Children's Aid Society of Canada fought to have the judge not only ban the name of Donald Klasges, but also asked Justice Patricia Hennessy to ban all reporting on the case.
Justice Hennessy said, "the irony is rich, that concerns for other foster children is most eloquently addressed by the victim."
Klasges, 65, was sentenced to seven years in prison for abusing the girl.
This young woman -- who is not only a survivor of horrendous abuse, is now also a single mother of a two-year-old -- told the court she would be willing to have her name published if it meant Klasges' name would also be published.
According to The Sudbury Star, the request by the teen was supported by the Crown but opposed by CAS. The lawyer for the CAS, Dawn Dubois, said revealing Klasges as a foster parent could have an adverse impact on the future lives of foster children who had been placed with him in the past.
The survivor told Justice Hennessy it was that very reason that Klasges had been a foster parent to others, that she wanted the ban lifted.
I will go further than Justice Hennessy and say not only is the irony rich, but the CAS comes across as looking like it is protecting an abuser instead of supporting the survivor they placed with this man at the age of 11.
They CAS has said it is horrified by the case and quite shaken by it, and when Klasges was first charged in 2008, the society took six months to make it public.
There had been 42 children placed in his Levack home and officials needed time to investigate. Executive Director Collette Prevost said all 42 were contacted and there was no evidence of other cases of abuse. And apparently, the screening and training of foster parents has changed for the better since 2008 becoming more in-depth and exhaustive. Would it always have been so.
Who would gain by keeping Klasges's name private? Does it really help the other foster children who were placed with the abuser?
If it's true that no one else was abused by Klasges, according to the CAS, then what is the harm in releasing his name? Especially when the victim in this case was requesting it.
When staffs are worried about layoffs and they are overworked with huge caseloads, mistakes will happen. Perhaps the province should get off its high horse and allow the Ontario ombudsman to investigate the agencies so real changes can be made.
Of course, that still doesn't explain why the powers that be in the Sudbury agency decided to fight the publication of Klasges name. When Director Prevost was asked why the CAS fought the release of Klasges's name, she replied, "the public has the right to ask the question." I guess we have the right to ask, but we don't have the right to hear an answer that makes sense.