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BC man jailed for raping unconscious teen

A Prince George man was sentenced to one year in jail last fall, after pleading guilty to one count of sexual interference in connection to an assault which took place on Aug. 20, 2020.

Craig Bogh was 22 at the time of the offence, and admitted he raped an unconscious 15-year old near a children's park after meeting with three teenage girls at a soccer field near a secondary school. The group had consumed alcohol, including cider and vodka, noted a Sept. 27, 2023 ruling.

The victim became "grossly intoxicated and passed out", and Bogh proceeded to remove their pants and underwear, having sex with them in the soccer field in view of a children's park, the ruling further explained. Police were called to the scene by a grandmother at the park, who was with her husband and grandchildren.

Bogh only stopped the assault of the "lifeless" victim when police arrived, pulling up his pants and appearing nervous.

"Her companions were extremely intoxicated, crying, and unable to speak. They appeared to be in distress and kept asking the police for help," added the ruling.

<who>Photo Credit: Google Streetview</who>The courthouse in Prince George

It's also noted Bogh has significant mental and social deficits that likely impeded his decision-making, due to a genetic condition called Cri-du-chat syndrome. The rare genetic disorder is caused by missing pieces on a particular chromosome, and is characterized by intellectual disability and delayed development.

A psychological assessment was performed on Bogh when he was 17, placing his social skills in the 10- to 12-year-old age range, but his full-scale IQ was over 70. Bogh did not a qualify for an intellectual disability, but it's noted he wasn't employed due to mental health disabilities, and was known to abuse alcohol and cannabis.

"His deficits may have impacted his ability to recognize the impropriety of a man his age socializing with teenage girls and drinking alcohol with them. It may have impacted his understanding of the obligation to diligently ascertain the victim's real age before engaging in sexual contact with her," wrote Justice Cassandra Malfair in her decision.

While expert testimony was provided on Bogh's mental state and capacity as impacted by his deficits, the ruling also notes Bogh acknowledged that he knew it was wrong to have sex with the victim when she was unconscious.

"Even if Mr. Bogh's cognitive and social deficits impaired his ability to accurately assess the victim's age, her social cues, or whether or not she was too intoxicated to consent, he either knew or was wilfully blind to the fact she was not awake when he was having intercourse with her," wrote Malfair.

"The evidence put before me does not establish that Mr. Bogh's cognitive impediments were the driving factor in his decision to rape the victim while she was unconscious. His consumption of alcohol was the significant factor," Malfair further noted.

Bogh's Indigenous ancestry was also considered during proceedings, his father was a member of the Tse’khene Nation near McLeod Lake, and his paternal grandparents attended residential school and struggled with alcohol. Bogh was raised off-reserve by his maternal grandparents, who are Caucasian.

"He is separated from his Indigenous culture and expresses no interest in learning about his heritage or participating in culturally based programming," wrote Malfair.

It's noted Bogh did try to reconnect with his father, but the relationship was strained due to alcohol misuse, and abuse from his father's girlfriend, causing Bogh's father to be on protective conditions restricting contact. His mother also left when Bogh was a child.

"Mr. Bogh's disconnection from his culture and community have deprived him of a means to achieve a sense of belonging and social connection. This history of familial instability, cultural alienation, and substance misuse are factors which reduce Mr. Bogh's moral culpability," added Malfair.

However, there were many aggravating factors, wrote Malfair, and the harm to the victim was significant.

"The victim was a child. The victim was a vulnerable Indigenous female. The victim was ill at the time at the time of the rape, ultimately requiring overnight hospital treatment. Instead of seeking medical attention or trying to rouse the victim, Mr. Bogh took advantage of her incapacity to rape her," she noted.

"The offence was especially degrading involving the rape of the victim in a public place in view of members of the public. The rape of a vulnerable unconscious victim is demeaning and dehumanizing, reducing that human being to little more than an object to be used as a tool for sexual gratification," continued Malfair.

"Bogh raped the victim near a playground where children were playing in full view of its occupants and, in doing so, spread the horrifying impact of this offence to other members of the community," she concluded.

In addition to the one-year jail sentence, Bogh will serve three years of probation and has been registered as a sex offender.

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