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Three charged in sexual assault incident

Three individuals were in police custody last Thursday following an incident from the weekend before.

Three individuals were in police custody last Thursday following an incident from the weekend before.

Peter Byers and Tanner Mignon, both of Estevan have been charged along with Tayler Williamson of Bienfait for sexual assault and sexual interference, which is a charge that alleges sexual touching of an individual under 16 years of age.

Byers is 21, while Mignon and Williamson are both 19, and they made their first appearances in Estevan provincial court on April 12.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between April 7 and 8. A publication ban protects the identity of the complainant.

The Crown prosecutor agreed to the release of all three and said they may be jointly charged, as all the charges are related. Byers and Mignon were released on undertakings in Estevan, while Williamson was released on an undertaking to Bienfait.

They are all under conditions not to have any contact with one another, along with the complainants and must report to the Estevan Police Service on the last Friday of every month.

Williamson was arrested again shortly after her release for breaching conditions, and she was back in court on Monday. With her Legal Aid representative not present, and as the Crown decided to oppose a second release, she consented to be remanded in custody until next Monday.

Byers and Mignon will next appear on May 10.

In other court proceedings from Monday, Joseph Blaise pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm, and both the Crown prosecutor and Blaise's defence counsel provided submissions for Judge Karl Bazin to consider.

Mitch Crumley went over the circumstances for the Crown, noting that the offence occurred at a bar in Carlyle. A friend with Blaise and a friend with the victim got into an altercation on the deck of the establishment.

During the course of the scuffle, Blaise pushed the victim who then fell over the deck's railing, landing on his head about six feet below. He suffered fractures to a vertebra in the middle of his back and a fracture to his skull, with some internal bleeding.

Crumley noted that the victim's friend was suggesting that he get up and move around, while Blaise suggested the man he pushed remain stationary and wait for the ambulance.

He later wanted to visit the victim in hospital but didn't because the victim's mother was against the idea.

Blaise's defence counsel, Lori Dunford, said that he admits to the push, but added that he, "absolutely did not intend to hurt (the victim). The way I always describe it is as a one in a million."

She said it wasn't foreseeable that the victim would fall so far when he was pushed. She didn't want to minimize the injury and suffering of the victim, but said the actions of her client were not intended to inflict the kind of injury that befell the victim. She said Blaise still must face consequences for the result of his actions, but added that the push was harmless enough that there would be no charges if the man hadn't fallen over the railing and been seriously hurt.

Bazin's decision was reserved for April 23.