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Community leader gets four years for sexual assault

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A prominent community leader in Winnipeg has been handed a four-year prison sentence for raping an unconscious woman in a downtown apartment.

Hilaire Ndyat, 43, was found guilty at trial last year of attacking the victim in March 2008. Ndyat is the founder and executive director of the Winnipeg Afro-Aboriginal Cross-cultural Association, where he helps new immigrants adjust to life in the city. He is also a member of several other cultural organizations in the inner city.

Ndyat returned to court Tuesday afternoon to learn his fate. The Crown had been seeking a five-year sentence, while Ndyat’s lawyer asked for just two years behind bars.

Ndyat had testified in his own defence, claiming the victim "forced" him to have sex and "stole" his sperm by secretly removing his condom because she wanted a mixed-race baby.

"I thought she wanted a black man's sperm as she mentioned earlier during the conversation that she'd like to have a mixed child, (she was) using me as a sperm donor by stealing sperm from me," he wrote in a 2008 statement to police presented during the trial.

Queen's Bench Justice Gerald Chartier rejected Ndyat's story, saying it was "simply not believable."

Crown attorney Jocelyne Ritchot told court Ndyat may have drugged the victim before attacking her. The woman testified at trial that Ndyat gave her a beer to drink that was already open, and she soon passed out only to awake and find him sexually assaulting her.

Ndyat has no prior criminal record. His lawyer submitted numerous letters of support in which dozens of people praised him. One letter was signed "For The Community" and included 118 signatures.

Ndyat's wife also pleaded for mercy, describing him as a loving father of two young children who needs to return to the family as quickly as possible.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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