Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Teen gets 10 years for city robbery, rape

Woman beaten, sexually assaulted in her home

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A Winnipeg teen has been sentenced as an adult to 10 years in prison for the rape and robbery of a stranger inside her Fort Richmond home.

"The circumstances of this are so horrific and so egregious," provincial court Judge Ray Wyant said Wednesday.

"This degradation of this complainant, this inhumane treatment of another human being stands for what it is," Wyant said, ruling it didn't matter much to him whether the July 9, 2011, incident was a bona-fide home invasion, a contentious legal detail at sentencing.

The offender, now 19, previously pleaded guilty to charges of breaking and entering to commit robbery and aggravated sexual assault. He cannot be identified until his appeal period expires in a month.

Free in the community on probation for prior break-and-enter offences, the intoxicated 17-year-old was caught by the 27-year-old victim breaking into her apartment through a window, looking for money for weekend partying.

She pushed him back from the window, but he forced his way inside and began beating her after she tripped over a bicycle.

She gave him the small amount of money she had, but instead of leaving, the teen beat her some more, then seriously sexually assaulted her despite her pleas for him to stop and efforts to fight him off.

"Just let me love you," he told her.

"You're raping me," the terrified woman replied.

"Well, just let me rape you then," he said.

He was frightened off when the woman's husband rushed in. Police caught him by following a trail of blood from the crime scene.

In a victim-impact statement, the woman said she's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and suffers severe emotional trauma. She said her attacker's conduct was "pure evil."

"It's easy to conclude that the effects of this vicious crime will be with her for the rest of her life," Wyant said. It must "draw the court's rebuke," he added.

Crown attorney Dan Angus quoted a psychologist's report saying the teen is aroused through violence and rough sexual contact.

He told a psychologist he "regularly plays with the devil," and also, "I have a gift. I think I might be in the middle of God and the devil."

The conclusion of the case was often delayed due to defence lawyer Jay Funke asking that Wyant have as much background information on the teen as possible.

Funke lost a bid to have the teen sentenced as a youth to a two-year jail term that would include intensive support and rehabilitative counselling.

Wyant previously ruled such a sentence wasn't long enough to hold him accountable.

The judge said Wednesday his sentence took account of the cognitively-disabled teen's "sad and tragic" background of deprivation, loss and abuse, both physical and sexual.

"No child should ever have gone through what he has gone through," Wyant said.

The teen will require "long-term" intervention to address his many personal issues.

They include alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, major substance-abuse problems and mental-health concerns. He's considered a high risk to reoffend.

"He faces... a long road to rehabilitation," Wyant said.

"I'm sorry for putting the community at risk," the expressionless offender told court before sentencing.

"I went down the path of darkness. Hopefully there's a light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 24, 2013 B3

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