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Mother granted asylum in Canada after being sentenced to prison for having sex with teen boy in the United States

By Mason White 11:30 AM June 12, 2014
Denise Harvey insert 

By: Hydar Tomar
(Scroll down for video) A Florida woman avoided going to jail by fleeing to Canada.

47-year-old Denise Harvey, was convicted of having sex with her friend’s 16-year-old boy. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

However, she avoided jail by fleeing to Canada. She was granted asylum, officials said.

In Canada, Harvey argued that her 30 year prison sentence was “cruel and unusual punishment,” and sought refugee status so that she can legally stay in the country.

Canadian authorities initially tried to extradite her to the United States, but the nation’s Immigration and Refugee Board approved her request to stay in Canada.

Harvey was convicted of five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor for having sex with the teenage boy, who was on the baseball team with her own son, authorities said.

She first met the teenager in team practices and allegedly had sex with him five times. Some of the sexual encounters allegedly took place at the house of the boy’s father.

Harvey, who maintains her innocence, fled her home in Vero Beach with her husband and son, and moved to Pike Lake, Saskatchewan.

The Immigration and Refugee Board granted Harvey asylum, saying there was no evidence that the sex was not consensual and that it was only illegal because of the age difference, according to federal court documents.

It is illegal in Florida for anyone over 24 to have sex with someone under 16, but in Canada, the age of consent is 16, or 18 if the defendant is in a position of authority.

The Board agreed that the punishment is cruel and unusual in regards to Canadian and international standards.