UPDATE: The victim’s initials have been removed from the story to further protect her identity.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Anthony Collins has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old in Fort St. John.
According to a court document detailing the case and the judge’s decision, Collins assaulted the girl twice at a party in 2020, which was video recorded and shared with a group of people on Snapchat.
During the sentencing that took place last month in B.C. Supreme Court in Fort St. John, Collins was also ordered to submit a DNA sample and will be on the sex offender registry for 20 years.
The victim, whose identity is protected through a publication ban, met Collins through Snapchat when he was 20 and she was 13, which she divulged to Collins during their conversations.
A month after starting to talk, Collins travelled to Fort St. John with a friend, picked up the victim and headed to a bar, where they met more people, according to the document. It also notes that Collins told the victim to lie about her age and tell people she was 16.
From the bar, Collins, the victim, and three other people headed to a house party after picking up alcohol.
At the party, Collins recorded himself having sex with the victim in a bathroom while she was intoxicated, the court heard.
Later that night, Collins performed oral sex on the girl in front of several people who watched and filmed the assault. The court document noted that during the assault, Collins said, “Who’s next.”
The videos were later shown to multiple people and posted to a Snapchat group.
Justice Anita Chan summarized the victim’s statement during the sentencing hearing in the court document.
“She described the pain she has felt since the incident and how alone she felt. She described how she found it impossible to go to school for the three years since the incident and how difficult it was for her to focus on her studies. She reminded the court of how she was just a child at the time of the assault and is still a child at 15 years old today. She expressed fear that she would have difficulty trusting another man,” wrote Chan.
“[The victim] was eloquent in how she addressed the court and, in my view, showed great strength in coming forward.”
Chan said Collins’ guilty plea was the primary mitigating factor in the sentencing, which was jointly recommended by the Crown and defence.
“The proposed sentence would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute and would not otherwise be contrary to the public interest,” wrote Chan.
The sexual assault charge is Collins’ first conviction as an adult. He had seven youth convictions from 2015 and 2016, including mischief, possession of property obtained by crime, and breaches of undertaking. His youth sentences were probation with community service, the document said.
“Parliament has recognized the seriousness of sexual offences against children, making this a statutory aggravating factor,” wrote Chan. “The recording of the sexual assault and the sharing of the videos on social media perpetuates the harm inflicted.”
Collins has been in prison since April 25th, five days after Fort St. John RCMP released a request to the public asking for information on the 23-year-old’s location. Collins was given a credit of 129 days for time served on the 36-month jail sentence.