DARTMOUTH -- A North Kentville man sent to jail last week for a sex crime against a 13-year-old girl wants to appear by video for his next sentencing, telling a judge that he is suffering the effects of a beating in jail.
Darrin Phillip Rouse, 52, who was handed a five-year sentence last Wednesday for sexual interference, was back in Kentville Supreme Court on Monday for a sentencing hearing in a separate case of obtaining sexual services for consideration. He was convicted earlier this year of offering a woman drugs in exchange for sex.
Justice Ann Smith reserved her decision until next week. It was then that Rouse asked her to allow him to appear by video.
“The ride (in the sheriff service van) is rough on me,” he said, telling Smith that he was “severely” beaten in the Burnside jail since his arrival and was suffering from blurred vision in one eye and a concussion.
Sources say Rouse was beaten by four or five people. The judge allowed the request after the Crown said it was not opposed.
Rouse covered his head when leaving court.
The Crown asked for a sentence of two years for Rouse on the drugs for sex charge, while the defence suggested a $1,000 fine and no jail time.
A Kings County woman testified at trial last December that she was hooked on Dilaudid when she first met Rouse in the spring of 2015.
The woman said a friend introduced her to Rouse and told him that she was a drug user. She said Rouse offered her drugs at a time when she was using four Dilaudid pills a day, at $20 apiece, and he became a dealer for her.
She said when she didn’t have the money, she would beg and borrow to pay for her addiction. At one point, she testified, she ran out of money.
She said Rouse, who she considered a friend at the time, offered to let her pay for the drugs with sex.
She said Rouse asked for oral sex on the first occasion in exchange for pills, and they had sex a couple of months later for more of the drug.
Crown attorney John Eddy told Smith that his suggested sentence on the charge should run consecutive to the five-year sentence from last week.
He said the relationship between the woman and Rouse was a commercial one, despite the fact that the woman called Rouse her friend.
He said it is an aggravating factor that Rouse “took advantage of the addiction of a friend.”
Defence lawyer Zeb Brown said the defence “doesn’t deny that there was a power relationship here ... but said there was “no evidentiary foundation” to the conclusion that the woman was vulnerable or taken advantage of.
He said the victim’s evidence was that she didn’t feel forced to have sex, and that sex for pills was “simply an option that was on the table, she saw it and she decided to take it.”
He said the situation should not be looked at as a situation of drug trafficking, but rather “giving money or something of value to another person in exchange for sex, that’s the starting point.”
In addition to the five year sentence handed down last week, Rouse has past convictions for sexual assault in 1999 and 2004. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail on the first charge and three years on the second.