‘Today I am free,’ victim tells man sentenced in sexsomnia case

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‘Today I am free,’ victim tells man sentenced in sexsomnia case

by - 2 min read

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A man convicted in Brockville, Ont., of sexually assaulting a woman at a house party in 2011 will spend one year in jail and three more on probation after the last of several appeals was rejected in court Wednesday. 

Ryan Hartman’s lawyer had asked the judge to consider a sentence of house arrest, but provincial court Judge Kimberly Moore didn’t agree and imposed the jail sentence instead. 

Hartman has now twice been convicted of sexually assaulting Bekah D’Aoust, who petitioned to have a publication ban removed from her name. 

Following an initial trial in 2012 and a successful appeal, a second trial found Hartman pulled down D’Aoust’s pants and anally penetrated her while she was asleep on an air mattress at a house party in Spencerville, Ont.

Hartman’s defence argued that he suffered from “sexsomnia” — that he’d been asleep at the time of the assault and was unaware of what he was doing.

A judge rejected that defence and found Hartman guilty once again, but he launched another challenge, arguing his right to a trial in a reasonable timeframe had been violated.

On Wednesday, Moore rejected that argument before sentencing Hartman.

Hartman appeared emotionless after the judge rejected the Jordan application. His parents and fiancée, who were in court with him, also appeared unsurprised.

Bekah D’Aoust says she hopes her experience will give other victims of sexual assault the confidence to come forward. 1:29

‘You’ve showed me no remorse’

D’Aoust then read a victim impact statement.

You’ve showed me no remorse, and today you will face the consequences,” she told Hartman.

“Your sentence is yours and mine is mine. My sentence is for life. I will live with these scars for an eternity. But my sentence will help others. I will do what I can to help piece together other people’s lives.

“Today I am free. You will no longer have a hold on my life.”

Hartman declined to address the court, but his fiancée said she’s worried they’ll lose their home if Hartman is incarcerated and unable to work. His defence lawyer said the fiancée has health problems from a vehicle collision.

Defence seeks house arrest

Hartman’s mother, a widow, said she relies on her son to care for her and asked for some kind of alternative to imprisonment.

Arguing it was an isolated incident and out of character for Hartman, the defence was asking for half his sentence to be served under house arrest and the other half under a strict curfew.

The Crown argued for a sentence of at least 18 months and probation lasting three to five years because of the significant, ongoing impact on D’Aoust.

Both sides agreed Hartman should get credit at time-and-a-half for the 33 days he’s spent in custody.

This story originally appeared on CBC

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