September 21 , 2014
Kevin Maryk has been sentenced to four years in prison for abducting his two young children from Winnipeg and holding them in Mexico for four years.
Maryk has been in prison since May, 2012 when authorities, acting on a tip, found him and the children in Guadalajara. He had been on the run since Aug., 2008 when he disappeared with the kids, then 5 and 7-years-old, following a court-approved visit.
While handing down his decision in a Winnipeg courtroom today, Judge Ted Lismer said Maryk’s callous disregard for the harm he caused his children was a key factor in the sentence.
Thursday’s ruling means Maryk will spend just over another year in custody having already spent five months imprisoned in Mexico and 20 months in Canada. Lisner gave him credit for 60 of those days served in Mexico and 1.5 times the total time served in Canada.
If Maryk’s defense attorney Todd Bourcier had his way, his client would have been released following today’s hearing. He was asking for his immediate release based on how long he’d already been incarcerated. Crown attorney Debbie Bours was looking for a five year sentence.
During another hearing in July, the childrens’ mother Emily Cablek described how they still suffer from emotional trauma incurred during the time they spent with their father. The court also heard the residence they were found in was surrounded by a concrete wall topped with a barbed wire fence and that the children didn’t go to school and may have witnessed drug use and acts of prostitution.
After Thursday’s ruling, Cablek said she thinks he should have been given a harsher sentence, “In a nice world it would have been ten years, for me, but four years that’s on par with how many years the children were taken from me and that’s not fair. I didn’t get a choice in the matter, he chose to do something illegal … it’s pretty much a joke to him, he pretty much got away with it.”
Detective Sergeant Shauna Neufeld was part of the team that found Maryk and his two kids in Mexico. She agrees four years isn’t long enough.
“Would I have liked to see more than four years – for sure. I’d have liked to see ten. I think with parental abductions there’s often the misconception that people aren’t being hurt. Two kids lives here were affected for years to come and the mother was deprived of access to her children for so long,” she said.
Maryk led authorities on a four-year manhunt after he left Canada with the children. He narrowly avoided capture on one occasion in Peurto Vallarta before police finally closed in and made the arrest in 2012. He had help eluding police. Earlier this year Robert Groen, an accomplice of Maryk’s, was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in the abduction. Another alleged accomplice, Cody McKay, remains at large. A Canada-wide warrant is out for his arrest.
The sentencing has been delayed several times throughout throughout the summer. It appeared judge Lismer was ready to make a ruling after a July sentencing hearing but the crown was given permission to present more evidence. That took place at the end of August after a series of procedural hearings throughout the summer.
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