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Man convicted of sexual assault working hard to 'get my life back together'

24-year-old pleaded guilty to five charges, including groping a woman while he was heavily intoxicated, but was granted a conditional discharge
The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo.

Kyle Schryer made changes in his life after he was charged with sexual assault three years ago that helped convince a judge to grant him a conditional discharge.

The 24-year-old local man pleaded guilty to the charge, along with a count of threatening, when he appeared in a Sault Ste. Marie courtroom last week.

In addition to these offences, which occurred on April 30 to May 1, 2021, Schryer was found guilty of two counts of failing to attend court and a single count of breaching an undertaking.

A publication ban prohibits reporting information that may identify the victim. 

Ontario Court Justice Melanie Dunn heard city police began an investigation on May 1, after receiving information that the accused had put his hands between the complainant's legs and groped her.

Schryer also threatened to hurt the victim and her boyfriend, then grabbed her buttock, prosecutor Gary Knox said.

Defence lawyer Eric McCooeye told the court his client was very intoxicated at the time.

Most of the offences occurred three years ago, when Schryer "had a real problem" with alcohol that led to snowballing offences, including missing court dates, he said.

McCooeye said in the time he’s “been dealing with” Schryer, who needed some assistance about boundaries, he now “has his feet on the ground.”

He has pleaded guilty and has remorse.

The lawyers jointly recommended that Schryer, who has no prior criminal record, receive a conditional discharge and be placed on probation for 12 months.

Whatever was happening in Schryer's life was "spiralling out of control," Knox said, describing him as a young man who would benefit from counselling.

While sexual assault is serious, what occurred is on the lower end of the scale, the assistant Crown attorney said.

At his age, the accused's prospects for rehabilitation are good.

Schryer told the judge he's been attending counselling since he was charged.

"I've been 322 days sober," he said, adding "I've done nothing but trying to get my life back together."

Dunn agreed with the lawyers' proposal, noting Schryer is a youthful, first-time offender who pleaded guilty to the offences.

It's not the most serious sexual assault — grabbing and groping someone in a car — and "I'm told he was intoxicated at the time," she said.

Given all he's done and the work he's put into dealing with his addiction problem, the judge said she was granting him the conditional discharge.

During his one-year probation, he can have no contact with the victim and her friend and must not be within 100 metres of them.

Dunn imposed a $250 monetary penalty for each of the three court order breaches.

Schryer has 12 months to pay the $750.

He must also provide a DNA sample for the national registry.

About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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