UBC grad sentenced to 21 months in jail for sex assault at campus fraternity house

Mathew Aaron Shufelt will serve jail time for sexually assaulting a female student at a UBC fraternity house two years ago. The incident that took place in a friend's bed in February of 2015.

Mathew Aaron Shufelt will also serve 18 months probation and will be on sex offender registry for 20 years

Mathew Aaron Shufelt pleaded guilty to a sex assault charge, which stems from an incident at a UBC fraternity house in February of 2015. (CBC)

A 28-year-old man will serve jail time for sexually assaulting a female student at a University of British Columbia fraternity house two years ago.

Mathew Aaron Shufelt pleaded guilty to the charge, which stems from an incident that took place on a friend's bed in February of 2015.

The victim — who can't be named because of a publication ban — was 21 at the time and a third-year UBC student. She was friends with Shufelt, who was a graduate of the university.

On the night in question, Shufelt texted the victim, and the two — along with another female friend — went to a pub together. After drinking heavily, they went to an on-campus fraternity house they were both familiar with.

After consuming more alcohol, the victim asked a friend if she could go sleep in his bed. She took off her pants and went to sleep wearing her shirt and her underwear.

She testified that she woke in the night to feel pain in her vagina. She turned around and saw Shufelt penetrating her from behind. She yelled and pulled away from him.

The woman later went for an examination at a sexual assault health practitioner and reported the incident to the RCMP. Shufelt was charged in August 2015. He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault.

Shufelt 'knew what he was doing'

In delivering his sentence, Justice Michael Tammen emphasized the severity of the crime, and the lasting impact it has had on the victim.

"[The victim] continues to suffer the deleterious effects of the gross invasion of her personal sexual integrity, perpetrated by someone she knew and trusted," said Tammen.

Tammen added that while Shufelt was drinking, he was aware of his actions.

"It's clear from his actions and words at a critical time that the accused, although in a state of advanced self-induced intoxication, knew what he was doing," Tammen said. 

"[He] appreciated that he had engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the victim."

Shufelt has no previous criminal record and Tammen called him "a young man of great promise" who was just starting a successful career in engineering.

Crown lawyers asked for a sentence of two years less a day in prison, with 18 months probation, while Shufelt's lawyer asked for a sentence of 18 months in prison and 18 months probation.

Tammen sentenced Shufelt to 21 months, and according to the Crown, he will not be eligible for parole until he serves 14 months.

He will also be on a sex offender registry for 20 years.

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