A man with a history of sexually inappropriate behaviour was found guilty in provincial court in St. John’s Monday of committing an indecent act toward his therapist during an appointment.
“I was very offended. I felt very violated and objectified and uncomfortable,” the Eastern Health clinical sexologist told the court during the short trial of Daniel Peter Humby, 23.
The sexologist was the only witness called by the Crown to present evidence at Humby’s trial, which lasted about half an hour.
The therapist said she was conducting her second session with Humby, who had been referred to the clinical sexology program, on March 4 of last year. His first appointment had been about three weeks earlier, when she had explained the limits of confidentiality and told him the sessions would include talk therapy, with absolutely no physical contact and no sexual activity, she said.
She and Humby were seated in the family room of the clinic, about six feet apart and separated by a coffee table.
“We were discussing the nature of why he was referred to the clinical sexology program at the time,” she explained.
He had a history of sexually inappropriate and sexually aggressive behaviour, she said, and her role was to educate him in an effort to prevent the behaviour from reoccurring.
“Mr. Humby looked at me and placed his hand on his genital region outside his pants and began to rub his genitals,” the sexologist testified. “I asked him to stop doing that and he complied and put his hands by his side.”
The discussion continued, but within five minutes Humby repeated the action, this time with his hands inside his clothes. When the therapist asked him once again to stop, he complied, then told her that he was going to ejaculate.
The sexologist quickly ended the therapy session and Humby left. She never saw him again for treatment.
Humby took the witness stand in his own defence and confirmed what the therapist had told the court.
“What was your intention?” defence lawyer Jennifer Curran asked him.
“It wasn’t to offend her. I never meant to offend her,” Humby replied. “I guess I got carried away with the thoughts in my head.”
Humby said he had not seen a sexologist before that point, and it was his understanding that he was there to discuss a similar incident that had taken place previously during an appointment with a forensic psychiatrist.
“She grabbed the phone and I left the office,” Humby said of the doctor. “I left the office because I said I thought she was sexy, and she asked me to leave. I exposed myself on the way out.”
On cross-examination, Humby told prosecutor Tannis King he didn’t know why he had been referred to the sexologist.
“You said you were there to discuss inappropriate sexual behaviour in another office,” King pointed out.
“I said I was guessing that was the reason,” Humby replied. “She was talking to me like you are now, she went on talking about sex and stuff.”
“You clearly knew this was inappropriate behaviour. She had asked you to stop,” King said. “You knew you weren’t supposed to do it, but you did it anyway.”
“Yeah, but I stopped every time,” Humby responded.
Judge Lori Marshall took a half-hour recess before delivering her verdict, finding Humby guilty of committing an indecent act with the intent to offend.
“In the circumstances I have been advised and it came out through the evidence that you were seeing (a forensic psychiatrist) about an issue and that there was an incident in her office of a sexual nature and as a result of that she refused to treat you any longer and ultimately you were referred to see (the sexologist),” the judge said. “But I have no evidence as to exactly what the sexual issues or other mental-health issues are in this particular case. I’m not in a position to draw any conclusions about this particular act being related to any existing mental illness. I can’t infer that; I simply do not have any evidence that would relate that in any sort of a way.”
In 2018, Humby was sentenced to three years in prison for a range of charges, including arson, indecent exposure and theft from a sex shop. He had undergone a psychiatric evaluation when he was arrested and, while he was not given a diagnosis of a mental illness, the forensic psychiatrist suggested he might have anti-social personality traits or could have a paraphilic disorder. He could also be on the mild end of the autism spectrum, the report indicated.
Humby, who is in custody, has 19 other charges still before the court, including charges of theft of a motor vehicle, making indecent phone calls, breaking and entering, theft under $5,000 and breaches of court orders. He will be back in court Jan. 25.