Former hockey coach who exposed himself to nine-year-old girl twice gets probation after 8 months in jail
A former hockey coach who was convicted of stalking a young girl and exposing himself has been released from prison after serving just eight months behind bars.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, 50-year-old Michael Hull from Barrhaven, Ottawa, followed a nine-year-old girl around at least twice on different days, once at a library and once at a discount store, and masturbated in front of her on both occasions. An ex-military man and accountant, Hull was first arrested in March 2018 and charged with stalking, indecent acts and exposure, and accessing child pornography. He was released on Friday, June 7, following a sentencing hearing in the case that saw him credited for time served — eight months.
A judge ruled that Hull will be on probation for three years, with his new bail conditions strict. He will be living at his sister's residence in Saint John, New Brunswick until he can find affordable housing in Ottawa and has been ordered to continue therapy.
The 50-year-old has been banned from places where children gather for 10 years, with the only exception allowing him to attend his own kids' hockey games. Even in such a scenario, he will have to be accompanied by an adult who is aware of his criminal case. He will not be allowed to work or volunteer with children.
He has been banned from all Ottawa libraries and Dollarama discount stores and can only use the internet for work. His probation order banned him from using a camera, cell phone or otherwise, in a public place, placed his name into the sex offender registry, and decreed that he stay at least two kilometers away from the nine-year-old victim at all times.
Her mother had pleaded for a harsh sentence, writing in her victim impact statement read out to the court, "He targets young children… He’s dangerous to the public and he should be locked away for a long time."
She said her daughter feels depressed and helpless and that she is scared for the safety of her daughter and her family now that he is a free man once again. "He’s a pedophile and a predator," she said. That fear is not unfounded because Hull violated his previous probation order for a similar offense.
He was previously arrested at the US-Canadian border in 2016 while returning from Ogdensburg, New York after police found child pornography on his phone. They also found footage he had secretly recorded of women in a changing room at a Walmart in the city. While he was originally charged on both sides of the border with offenses ranging from possession of a sexual performance by a child and possession and importation of child pornography, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
He was sentenced to three years' probation, ordered to stay away from children under 14, and required to actively participate in counseling at the direction of his probation officer, conditions which he broke when he harassed the nine-year-old.
Following his most recent sentencing, Hull issued an apology and said there were no excuses for his crimes, though he did describe them as "out of character". He said he had been "publicly humiliated and disgraced" and that he wishes he could turn back time. He told the court he hoped the victim and her family could forgive him someday and promised he was a changed man who had every intention of turning his life around.