Warning: This report contains details of a sexual assault as heard in court that some readers may find disturbing.
Sitting in Yellowknife’s newly opened day shelter in the fall of 2018, Randy Allen described planning to take advantage of peer support groups and anger management programming.
However, less than two months after being interviewed in the centre by CBC North, Allen violently raped a woman in a newly acquired apartment he shared with his family, punching her in the face when she resisted.
Allen, now 33, was sentenced on Monday to two and a half years’ imprisonment for that sexual assault, followed by 18 months of supervised probation.
Allen had decided to plead guilty on February 24, foregoing a jury trial that was supposed to have started on Monday.
“It would have been extremely difficult for the victim to have had to testify in this case,” said Crown prosecutor Angie Paquin. “She is scared of the accused.”
In late 2018, the father of three had been struggling with alcoholism, mental health issues, and homelessness, the court heard. He had been frequently overnighting at the Salvation Army.
Since moving from Nunavut to Yellowknife in 2016 with his partner, Allen’s life was turbulent and involved several brushes with the law.
Around the same time he was interviewed in the new sobering centre, Allen had been charged with resisting arrest after spitting at an RCMP officer trying to take him into custody for causing a disturbance at the Salvation Army.
He was left with a black eye after that encounter. A judge later ruled the arrest was lawful.
Allen made headlines in February 2019 when he was sent to hospital with a broken rib after being arrested by RCMP, who forcibly removed him from a reported stolen car in front of the Salvation Army.
A court later heard Allen had been extremely intoxicated at the time. It was his third impaired driving offence.
Following an internal review, RCMP concluded in August 2019 that officers acted appropriately during the arrest and it wasn’t clear when Allen sustained the injury.
‘He punched her’
On Monday, the court heard Allen and his family had secured housing on Gitzel Street in November 2018.
A 21-year-old female acquaintance from a small community in Nunavut was in the city for a medical appointment and came over for a visit. She was staying at Larga Kitikmeot, a residence for Inuit travelling from the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut for medical services.
On the night of November 17, the woman went to The Raven Pub on 50 Street. When she returned to Larga Kitikmeot, some seven blocks away, she was refused entry as she had been drinking.
Shortly after she left, the woman encountered Allen walking down the street. He invited her to his apartment, which was close by.
“She accepted as she thought Randy Allen’s wife and son would be there,” said Paquin, adding that once they got there, Allen took the woman into a bedroom.
Allen closed the door and removed his clothes. The woman, sat on the edge of the bed, smelled alcohol on Allen’s breath – though he was under a court order not to consume alcohol.
He tried to pull off her jacket.
“Randy Allen punched [the woman] in her right eye,” said the prosecutor, noting it left a bruise. “She was scared and did not want to be punched again.”
Allen then removed the woman’s clothes and had unprotected sex with her.
“The assault only ended when [she] punched him in the face, causing his nose to bleed.”
In a panic, the woman grabbed some clothing and ran out of the building. Without a coat or her phone, she quickly headed toward’s a woman’s shelter, located a few minutes away on foot.
She could hear Allen yelling at her in the distance.
The RCMP were called and the woman was taken to hospital for examination.
On November 19, RCMP executed a search warrant at Allen’s residence. Inside they found the woman’s clothing, ID, and cellphone. He was arrested.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said as result of the attack, she has trouble leaving her home and walking outside.
Defence lawyer Ryan Clements said Allen was raised by adopted parents and paternal grandparents in his home community of Kugluktuk in Nunavut. He struggled with the loss of some family members and friends over the years, something which resulted him attending Yellowknife for psychiatric care. Both of his adoptive parents attended residential school.
Allen has been in pre-trial custody since June 28, 2019. Since then he has been taking counselling and is attending a 12-step program.
“The counselling had given him the courage to admit his wrongdoing,” said Clements, noting Allen plans to return to Kugluktuk when he is released from jail.
Justice Shannon Smallwood accepted the joint recommendation of two and a half years in custody, followed by 18 months of supervised probation.
She also ordered a sample be taken for the national DNA databank and that he be placed in the sex offender registry for 20 years.
He will be barred from using firearms except for sustenance hunting on the land.
Allen has accumulated 12 months and one week of pre-trial credit, leaving him with 17 months and three weeks left to serve.