Jerome Messam pleaded guilty earlier this year to secretly recording a sexual encounter with a woman he met online
Former Calgary Stampeder Jerome Messam cannot use the loss of his career and media attention to significantly reduce the sentence he receives for secretly recording a sexual attempt, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Crown attorney Janice Walsh said the conditional discharge sought by defense attorney David Nguyen would not adequately punish Messam’s actions.
Nguyen proposed a discharge, which would spare Messam a criminal record if he completed terms while on probation.
Nguyen told Court of King’s Bench Judge April Grosse that the loss of his football career and the media attention Messam’s criminal prosecution had generated should be considered when determining an appropriate sentence.
But Walsh said these were natural consequences of Messam’s criminal behavior and should not result in a lower sentence.
Walsh proposed an 18- to 24-month suspended sentence with probation on a voyeurism charge for recording a consensual sexual encounter with a woman at his Calgary home on Nov. 11, 2016.
The woman only found out about the recording months later when Messam sent her Snap Chat snippets of their sexual tryst.
The prosecutor said the loss of his CFL career and the media coverage of his criminal case “does not serve to diminish the offender’s moral culpability.”
“The CFL has its own conduct policy,” Walsh said of the permanent league suspension Messam received when he was charged with voyeurism.
“The CFL exercised their discretion. That collateral consequence is inevitably linked to the charge that Mr. Face Messam.”
She added that Messam had put himself in front of the public by becoming a professional athlete and had benefited from media coverage in the past.
“Mr. Messam has certainly benefited in the past from favorable media attention,” she said.
But Nguyen said the publicity surrounding Messam’s prosecution not only affected his ability to find work, but was a hardship on his partner and their six-year-old daughter.
And he said a criminal record could affect his chances of keeping a job in the future.
Nguyen said Messam currently runs a training facility in the Toronto area that primarily deals with minors looking at potential athletic careers.
“He is currently working without a criminal record and working with children without a criminal record,” the lawyer said.
Nguyen said a Google search of his client’s name turns up nine of the first 20 articles focusing on coverage of his prosecution.
Messam had earlier pleaded guilty to the voyeurism charge.
At his last court appearance, his victim gave a statement saying his behavior had changed her life.
“Who I am now cannot relate to the carefree person I was before this happened,” she told the court.
Grosse is expected to hand down a sentence on December 5.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts