LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A former pro hockey player apologized in a Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday before he was handcuffed and taken to prison for four to 15 years for sexually assaulting a girl over a four-year period.
Relatives of the girl sobbed as Michael McBain apologized to Clark County District Court Judge David Barker and said he was ready to accept any sentence the judge imposed.
“I’m more sorry than words can describe,” McBain said. “I take full responsibility for what I did.”
The judge rejected a two- to eight-year sentence recommended by state officials.
He told McBain, 36, the good things he accomplished in his life and his community were marred by his abuse of the girl from the time she was 12 years old.
Prosecutor Marc Schifalacqua said McBain served as a parental figure to the girl, but shattered her trust.
McBain was also ordered to register for lifetime supervision as a sex offender.
The girl’s relatives declined comment outside the courtroom. The Associated Press is not identifying them to avoid identifying the victim.
McBain was arrested July 5 on felony sex assault and lewdness with a minor charges that could have gotten him life in prison.
He pleaded guilty in September to reduced felony charges of attempted sexual assault with a minor under 14 and attempted lewdness with a minor under 14.
Defence attorney Robert Draskovich called McBain “a very good man who did a very bad thing,” and noted that the guilty plea spared the victim pain and embarrassment at trial.
Draskovich said McBain moved to British Columbia, Canada, to seek medical help after the girl reported the abuse. Police and his lawyer say McBain was hospitalized in Oregon following a suicide attempt, and Draskovich said McBain surrendered everything in Las Vegas to his wife after she filed for divorce.
McBain was a left-handed defenceman from Kimberley, B.C. He was drafted in 1995 by the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning and played for the team from 1997 to 1999.
He played two seasons for the Bracknell Bees in England before returning to the U.S. and playing from 2003 to 2008 for the minor league Las Vegas Wranglers.
He was the team captain for the Wranglers for three years before retiring in 2008 to become an assistant coach.