A man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbing and sexually assaulting a young woman as she left her workplace on Gasoline Alley in December 2014 has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Justin Mueller, 30, was arrested and charged after forcing a 20-year-old woman at 12:20 a.m. on Dec. 3rd, 2014 into her vehicle as she left her place of employment on Gasoline Alley. Mueller came to the victim’s drivers’ side door and brandished a knife.
He forced her to get in the passenger seat and they departed. Mueller drove to the Westerner Grounds and then to the CIBC situated on 22nd St. where he brought the victim into the vestibule and coerced her to withdraw money from her account at knifepoint.
Mueller then took the victim to a rural location near Penhold where he sexually assaulted her. He then drove her back to Red Deer and dropped her off at a convenience store in the Inglewood area.
During Mueller’s sentencing hearing on Sept. 22nd, court heard that he had 25 prior convictions before this incident took place. He has been in custody since Dec. 6, 2014. Court heard that Mueller came from a broken home and was sexually assaulted between the ages of four and six. He began drinking alcohol and using marijuana at the age of eight and began stealing food at the age of nine because his family could not afford to purchase those items.
In her submissions to the court, Crown Prosecutor Ann MacDonald asked the court to sentence Mueller to 12 years in prison.
“The court can only conclude that these are exceptionally serious, grave crimes,” she said. “It is important the court send a strong message, not just to Mr. Mueller, but to the community that behaviour like this is not acceptable.”
Defense Lawyer Norman Clair said Mueller had a difficult life and that he was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol the night of the offense. “He was not acting rationally that particular evening,” he said. “It is a very difficult case with a lot of factors.”
The victim, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, read two victim impact statements to the court.
“He wounded my future and he took much more than one night of my life from me. I am triggered to flashbacks by ordinary things like a smell, a change in light or a loud sound,” she said. “I am terrified to be alone.
“I did nothing wrong but I was instantly put in a position of being powerless and captive to a stranger. I was forced to surrender myself in every way to this man.
“I want to return to my normal life. I want my power back. I will not let him win, but it is not easy.”
Mueller addressed the court before being sentenced as well.
“I feel horrible for causing trauma to the victim. I wish ‘sorry’ made everything better, but it doesn’t. I pray you find peace in your life,” he said. “I know in my heart that I would never let this happen again and I will take counselling or whatever help is offered to ensure it doesn’t happen again. I will be a positive and constructive member of society. I am terribly sorry.”
Justice Kirk Sisson called Mueller’s actions, “appalling,” adding Mueller had a pattern of behaviour that was getting increasingly worse.
Sisson sentenced Mueller to 12 years in prison – 12 years for kidnapping, 10 years for sexual assault and five years for robbery – all to be served concurrently.
He also ordered that Mueller pay $660 to the victim which is what he robbed her of and $13,800 for her vehicle that she sold because it brought up too many memories of the offense. Mueller will also be registered in the sex offender list for 20 years.