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Repeat Offender Sentenced to 18 Months for Voyeurism at Sooke’s Community Centre

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A man in British Columbia, Mark Istephan, has been handed an 18-month prison term and three years of probation by Judge Ted Gouge at the Western Communities Courthouse. The sentencing was for a voyeurism offense that occurred at Sooke’s SeaPark Recreation Centre involving a victim known as Z.R.

During the incident on May 4, 2022, Z.R. encountered Istephan’s attempt to watch her shower and dress while she was using the community center for her morning workout. She was visibly shaken, fleeing to the reception desk and alerting the police of the incident.

The evidence presented during the trial convinced Judge Gouge that Istephan was indeed the person in the adjoining cubicle trying to watch Z.R. Despite pleading not guilty, Istephan’s history of offenses weighed heavily in the sentencing decision.

Istephan, not new to criminal activities, had previously been charged with attempted kidnapping in 2001 when he tried to pull a 13-year-old girl into his vehicle at a bus stop. Subsequent convictions in 2007 and 2014 for indecent acts further raised concerns about his behavior.

Various mental health professionals had assessed Istephan between 2001 and 2008, raising concerns about his risk of reoffending. The court highlighted Istephan’s lack of cooperation with diagnostic procedures and reluctance to engage in treatment for his mental health issues.

Despite his potential for indefinite detention in a mental health facility under the Mental Health Act, Istephan has been sentenced to 18 months in jail and faces strict probation conditions upon release. The judge emphasized the pervasive risk to public safety posed by Istephan’s repeated offenses.

The intent behind the sentencing was to protect the public from a well-known repeat offender whose actions have instilled fear and anxiety in his victims, altering their sense of safety and well-being in public spaces.

Rachel Adams

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