York University rapist gets 8 years in prison

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:53 PM ET

TORONTO - A rapist who terrorized two victims at York University's dormitory during orientation week was sentenced to eight years in prison in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday.

"He and (co-accused Justin) Connort regarded the teenagers living there as sexual prey," said Justice Ian MacDonnell in passing sentence on Daniel Katsnelson, a York University graduate, for sexual assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault.

"The offences were not crimes of opportunity but rather the product of a premeditated trespass into a university dormitory. The vulnerability of the young women whose bedrooms Mr. Katsnelson invaded was not unique to them," said MacDonnell.

MacDonnell said Katsnelson, now 27 and a first-time offender, deserved the lengthy penitentiary sentence for raping two first-year students during a two-hour rampage on Sept. 6, 2007.

One victim was a 17-year-old virgin when Katsnelson raped her and another first-year student. Katsnelson and Connort broke into several girls' rooms in the university's dormitory during Frosh Week, the name typically given to the first week at university for first-year students.

Both victims were forced to take medication for a host of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, as Katsnelson did not wear condoms during the rapes, the court heard.

Katsnelson pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault in the invasion but he created a controversy when he told the author of a pre-sentence report that he hoped his victims learned something from the crimes, namely remembering to lock their doors.

The judge turned down Crown attorney Andrew Locke's bid of at least 10 years imprisonment for Katsnelson, saying that sentence would be "crushing" and ignored the rapist¹s previous unblemished record and strong work and academic achievements.

His lawyer Mary Cremer asked for a three to five year prison sentence for her client, which the judge deemed as insufficient to denounce his "reprehensible" conduct.

Connort pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault - which wasn't a rape - in 2008 and was sentenced to three years in prison.


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