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Victim reads powerful statement at sentencing hearing for Barrie couple convicted of sex crimes

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Warning: Details in this article may be disturbing and triggering to readers.

The sentencing hearing for a Barrie couple convicted of sex crimes involving a child got underway on Thursday, with the victim describing physical scars and psychological struggles endured during and since the offence.

While Desiree Torrance sat in the courtroom weeping, her co-accused, Eric Johnson, was noticeably absent from the hearing. The court waited over an hour for his arrival but eventually proceeded without the 50-year-old.

Torrance and Johnson were convicted in December. They were found guilty of 10 counts, including sexual assault, sexual interference, exploitation, and sexual assault with a weapon.

"I can't remember how many times I cried myself to sleep. How many times I washed blood off my face," the victim said, reading her impact statement. "The first time Mr. Johnson assaulted me, it felt like a nightmare."

The victim described a deep trauma and fear from attacks the court heard happened between 2014 and 2018.

"No one understands how many times a day you think, 'If I end everything right now, there will be no more pain, no more suffering.' That thought rings in your head every second of every day."

The victim then addressed an absent Johnson.

"To Mr. Johnson, my last words are, I hope no one else has to experience the pain and torture you subjected me to. I am healing from the wrongs you have done to me, but that 12-year-old girl you stole so much from will never know what it would have been like to live a life without pain."

A publication ban protects the victim's identity.

The Crown is seeking for Torrance to spend two years behind bars, while the defence is arguing for a conditional sentence of 18 months.

The court will issue a warrant for Johnson, who is expected to receive a significant penitentiary sentence.

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