Former Sydney, N.S. Wendy’s manager gets prison sentence for sexual assault
A former fast-food restaurant supervisor in Cape Breton has been sentenced to two years in prison and three years probation for sexually assaulting five former female employees.
The judge rejected a lesser joint recommendation initially made by the Crown and defense.
David Macdonald, 25, who worked at Wendy's on Welton Street in Sydney, N.S., had previously pleaded guilty to the assaults, which occurred over a period of about a year when he was a shift supervisor at the restaurant.
Two of the victims were in court Friday as the decision was read out loud by the judge.
"I'm sure they're relieved to have this finally dealt with, so they can move on. This is something they'll obviously be dealing with for some time to come," said Crown Attorney Peter Harrison.
According to the agreed statement of facts, Macdonald would follow the female workers into rooms with no cameras, asking for hugs and placing his hands on their buttocks and breasts.
One of the victims previously told CTV she was 16 years old when these incidents first started happening.
"This sets a very high custodial floor for first-time offenders, even young first-time offenders who abuse a position of trust to commit sexual assaults," said Harrison.
In making his decision, Judge Dan MacRury said no parent should have to worry when dropping their child off at work that their manager is going to sexually assault them.
MacRury rejected a joint sentencing recommendation of 12 months made by the Crown and defense.
The judge said reading the victim impact statements showed the profound effect Macdonald had on the former female employees.
One victim wrote "Speaking about these incidents makes me embarrassed and ashamed. My mental health began to diminish and it became physically exhausting to get out of bed and complete each day."
Another victim said, "Because of what you did, I now have trust issues with men. I don't open up to many people because I don't want to experience anything like what you did to me again. It changed my whole life and the way I view myself."
MacRury acknowledged that Macdonald pleaded guilty to all counts, he was remorseful and had no prior record.
CTV reached out to the lawyer representing the owner of this Wendy's in Sydney, N.S., who had no comment on Friday's sentencing.
Two women have filed lawsuits alleging the company, T-Toy enterprises Ltd., failed to protect them from a supervisor. Those allegations have not been tested in court.
Meanwhile, Macdonald will also be a registered sex offender for life.