Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Adult sentence for vicious young rapist

Violence, escalation, lack of remorse factors

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It is the type of crime rarely seen in Winnipeg: A young woman randomly attacked by a deranged stranger who breaks into her home and rapes her as she begs for mercy.

A Manitoba judge has concluded it is also the type of crime for which the teen offender can't properly be punished by the frailties of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The accused, who was 17 at the time of the July 2011 home invasion in Fort Richmond, learned Wednesday he will face an adult sentence. He had been seeking to remain under the YCJA where he faced a maximum of two years behind bars.

Provincial court Jude Ray Wyant said Wednesday that's not nearly long enough for what he called a "grave, serious, vulgar and horrific case."

"I can come to no other conclusion," said Wyant. "It's difficult to find the right adjectives to describe this brutal attack."

'It's difficult to find the right adjectives to describe this brutal attack'

-- Judge Ray Wyant

The case has now been adjourned to allow lawyers to make further arguments on the specific sentence to be imposed. The Crown has already indicated they want at least 10 years, which may be the longest ever dished out for a non-homicide against a youth.

The accused, who can't be named until his adult sentence is formally given, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and breaking, entering and committing robbery

The 28-year-old victim broke down in tears last year as she described the physical and emotional toll of being violated by the stranger inside her apartment.

The woman was home alone one evening when she spotted someone trying to enter through the window of her ground-floor suite. She called her husband, who was at work, and made plenty of noise to let the intruder know someone was inside.

The teen forced his way inside, chased the woman down the hallway and then jumped on her when she tripped over a bicycle and was injured. Her husband heard her screams for help over the still-open phone line. He called 911 and raced home.

The teen repeatedly punched the woman in the face and upper body as she pleaded for him to stop, court was told.

She turned over the contents of her wallet -- about $55 -- but he continued to attack her and began pulling off her clothing as she tried to curl into a fetal position.

"He told her, 'Let me love you,' " Crown attorney Dan Angus told court. She tried to bite the youth and fight back. "Then he said, 'Let me rape you.' "

The sexual assault began but was interrupted moments later when the victim's husband came running through the front door. The teen jumped up and fled out the window he'd broken to get inside, cutting himself badly in the process.

Police followed a trail of blood and found the teen a few blocks away. He has been in custody ever since.

The youth has a lengthy criminal record and was on probation at the time of his arrest for a previous break-and-enter conviction. He also has a long history of breaching court orders and comes from a troubled background that includes alcohol and drug abuse and being placed in foster care at a young age.

Just one day prior to the attack, he tried to break into another home by removing the screen but fled without incident.

Wyant said Wednesday this shows an "escalating" pattern of behaviour.

The youth has been deemed a very high risk to reoffend, has shown little remorse for his actions and has continued to cause problems while behind bars, court was told.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 13, 2013 A8

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