Former Mount Allison University student Horace Karnes has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for three sexual assaults committed in Sackville.
The sexual assault charges date back to 2009 and 2010. Moncton’s Times & Transcript reported that two of the assaults occurred in Thornton House, where Karnes was the residence’s secretary-treasurer during that year. The third occurred in an apartment off-campus.
Karnes was arrested in November 2012. He appeared in Moncton Provincial Court on September 23 for sentencing. The thirty-one year old Karnes had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault and two counts of obstructing justice.
An RCMP release stated that Karnes received four years in prison for two of the sexual assaults, and six months for the third. He will also serve four months for obstruction of justice charges.
Karnes also received a nine-month jail sentence for being unlawfully in a dwelling, and three months for failure to comply with an undertaking. Those charges will be served concurrently with his other sentences.
Karnes left Mt. A without graduating in 2010. He continued to live and work in Sackville.
Ron Byrne, Mt. A Vice-President, International and Student Affairs, claimed that the University was unaware of the incidents until they were notified by the RCMP that a former Mt. A student was facing charges.
In the wake of the conviction, both the Mount Allison Students’ Union and the administration expressed their sympathy for the victims and emphasized the need to continue improving safety at Mt. A.
“There is obviously a lot of work that still needs to be done, and we’re incredibly happy that the administration has started to work with us on [improving student safety],” said Melissa O’Rourke, who is MASU’s president, adding that “it has reminded us of the urgency of improving safety and security.”
Byrne highlighted important campus efforts including the Green Dot campaign, the S.H.A.R.E program, and the recent safety and security review in co-operation with MASU.
“We all have to be vigilant. We all have a role to play to ensure that this kind of violence [is] eradicated,” said Byrne. “We have to continue to challenge and change the behaviours that allow for this kind of incident to occur.”
The RCMP have said Karnes has been added to the sex offender registry for life and will serve two years probation following his sentence.