Lawyer gets three years for sexual assault

Lyle Howe is a Nova Scotia lawyer who was found guilty May 31, 2014, of sexually assaulting a woman...

Lyle Howe is a Nova Scotia lawyer who was found guilty May 31, 2014, of sexually assaulting a woman he met for drinks in March 2011. (Photo: Facebook profile/QMI Agency)

Kris Sims, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia defence lawyer Lyle Howe, 29, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman he met for drinks in March 2011.

Howe's family and supporters, who packed the courtroom, argue the fact he's black played a role in his conviction and they want a retrial with a judge from another province.

The Crown said the woman, who was 19 at the time, was impaired and unable to give consent, but Howe argued the two had consensual sex.

On May 31, a jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting the woman, although he was found not guilty of administering a stupefying substance.

The woman didn't file a victim impact statement.

In a joint submission, the Crown and defence recommended three years in prison.

Judge Joseph Kennedy said Howe isn't a typical offender and used his status to assault the woman, telling her, "I'm a lawyer, Google me."

He called Howe's actions despicable and said his victim is a remarkable woman.

Howe must also submit his DNA for the sex offender registry and is banned from owning firearms for 25 years.

He plans to appeal and is scheduled to apply for bail Aug. 14.

Howe supporters shouted the sentence is a miscarriage of justice as he was taken into custody.


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