Disgraced soldier sent to prison for raping officer

« The irony that she feels guilty, but Mr. Beal doesn’t, is not lost on her, »

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Disgraced military corporal Garrett Beal, 29, was sent to prison for raping a female officer after they met online.

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After hearing evidence at trial, Ontario Court Judge JR Richardson called the sexual assault painful and degrading.

The attack shattered the woman’s life. She filed a victim impact statement detailing the depressing and heartbreaking effects of the attack which left her bleeding and in pain.

Beal was a corporal in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment at CFB Petawawa at the time he raped the woman.

He proclaims his innocence and shows no remorse.

“She feels guilty for coming forward and participating in holding the accused accountable. She recognizes that this will have a profound effect on Mr. Beal’s life. The irony that she feels guilty, but Mr. Beal does not, is not lost on her,” the judge said in a ruling last month.

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Beal dropped off a slew of glowing letters of support from colleagues, friends and family. One of his supervising officers described Beal as « one of the most successful corporals » under his command. Others expressed outrage at the guilty verdict and said it would be « out of place » for Beal to commit such a horrific crime.

The judge sentenced Beal to two years in prison.

Beal had no criminal record until the rape, and the court heard he was raised as a Christian by « good » parents who had been married for 40 years. Unlike so many sexual predators, Beal suffered no trauma as a child. Born in Sackville, New Brunswick, Beal moved to Alberta with his family when he was five years old. They lived in Peace River until they were 14 when they moved to Calgary.

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After graduating from high school, Beal went to the University of Calgary for a year. He dropped out to work as a construction worker. Later, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces at age 23 and intended to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer. The judge noted that the dream had been dashed.

Beal exploited the inebriated woman who couldn’t push him away because of his height and weight, the judge recapitulated.

Beal’s text messages to the victim on the night in question showed an intent to have sex with her regardless of his feelings towards her, the court heard in Pembroke.

« Beal knew when it happened that she (she) just wanted to hang out and cuddle. She didn’t want sex. He was hoping that she would change her mind and he could have sex with her. He was going to “make a move” or “try your luck” so that she sleeps with him”, recalled the judge in his decision.

Beal did not use a condom during the rape. The court heard he had transmitted chlamydia to a woman in the past.

In that case, the judge said: “(The woman) suffered a deep cut inside her vagina. This cut was painful and produced a lot of blood. She was still in severe pain when the sexual assault nurse examined her 14 hours later.

Before handing down his sentence in June, Beal received two job offers, one as an apprentice carpenter in British Columbia and the other as a frame assistant in Alberta.

Beal was successfully prosecuted by Ottawa Crown Attorney Suzanne Schriek.

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