For man who sexually assaulted UBC student, Crown seeks two years jail time

A man convicted of sexually assaulting a female UBC student is scheduled to receive his sentencing from BC Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen this Thursday. Crown counsel is asking for a jail sentence of two years minus one day and an additional 18 months of probation.

Mathew Aaron Shufelt, 28, pled guilty in August 2016 to the charge of sexual assault, which took place at a UBC fraternity house in February 2015.

According to witness testimony, Shufelt and the survivor — who cannot be named because of a court-ordered publication ban — had been together drinking that evening with a mutual friend. Shufelt was back in town after graduating from UBC’s engineering program.

The woman testified that near the end of the night she got permission to sleep over at the fraternity house in a friend’s bed, and went upstairs when she was tired. When he found out where she was, Shufelt followed and got into the bed without permission, and the survivor woke up to his non-consensual penetration.

She said that when she later confronted Shufelt, he said that he did not remember what had happened.

In her victim impact statement, the survivor described the extent of her emotional damage. She said she had to work incredibly hard to stay in school while managing serious negative effects on her mental health.

Shufelt’s lawyer, Kevin Westell, initially asked for a sentence of 18-months jail time with an 18-months probationary period. According to reporting by the Vancouver Sun, Shufelt has no prior criminal record.

If you need additional support, please contact Student Health Services, the Sexual Assault Support Centre and/or the Wellness Centre.