Latest Videos from CTV Edmonton
Gratton pleads guilty to sex assaults, kidnapping
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Monday, March 1, 2010 6:54PM MST
On Monday morning, a serial pedophile pleaded guilty to more than half a dozen charges in connection to a pair of incidents involving two young girls.
Danial Gratton admitted he abducted and raped a seven-year-old and a ten-year-old two days apart in October 2008, and was convicted on two counts of kidnapping and two counts of sexual assault.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of uttering threats, one count of administering a noxious substance and two counts of breaching long-term supervision orders.
In an agreed statement of facts, Gratton admits he lured both children into his jeep by promising ice cream and kittens.
Court documents show the ten-year-old tried to fight off the accused, but was unable to do so. According to the statement, Gratton said to her, "you should relax; I don't want to hurt you."
In exchange for his guilty pleas, it's expected the following charges will be dropped : three counts of sexual touching, two kidnapping-related charges and one count of entering an area he was prohibited from attending.
The last charge relates to the abduction site of the then 7-year-old victim, which happened near a playground – an area the court had banned Gratton from visiting.
Moving forward, the Crown successfully requested what is called a 'dangerousness assessment'. It will be conducted at Alberta Hospital and the findings will be used by prosecutors as they push for a dangerous offender status.
The title would mean an indefinite sentence for Gratton if he is convicted – something that sits well with the father of the youngest victim.
"Life without no possible parole, done," he said, telling CTV News he will be at the hearing if prosecutors succeed in getting one.
"God as my witness, or creator, I'll have my say, and we hope justice will be served."
The mother of the older victim was not available for comment on Monday, but has in the past advocated for provincial legislation that would see anyone convicted of sex crimes against children labeled a dangerous offender.
"I'm thinking that if you do a sexual crime against a child, once should be plenty," she told CTV in a November 2008 interview.
Court documents reveal Gratton was declared a long-term offender in 2002, and served four years of a six-year sentence for molesting six children, including one victim who was sexually assaulted 70 times in a six-month period.
Whether the Crown will pursue a dangerous offender hearing will likely be decided when the case resumes on June 4th.
-With Files from CTV's Bill Fortier