Some may question the categories I used, and the inclusion of this article on my blog. However a quick read of Koran and its verses concerning sex with infidels and children should satisfy the reasonable skeptic that this is an Islamic sanctified activity. I think especially the reinforcement of orthodox Islamic scripture by the founder of the modern state of Iran should help drive it home. That and sura 2:223
Eeyore for Vlad: H/T Grace
OTTAWA-A man who convinced a judge not to send him to jail after being found guilty of sexually assaulting two children has been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison after disappearing.
Ibrahim Farhat, 34, received the sentence Tuesday after being found guilty by a jury in March of sexual assault and sexual interference for repeated incidents of sexual touching on two sisters between 1998 and 2003.
Crown prosecutors had been seeking to have him put in jail immediately following his conviction, but Farhat was released after his lawyer convinced Ontario Superior Court Justice Heidi Polowin that he was not a flight risk.
Farhat was “a man who had broken the law and walked away with it,” one of the sisters told the court in her victim impact statement.
“What were once my memories of childhood and adolescence are now his. What should have been some of the happiest, most freeing memories, he holds hostage,” said the now 23-year-old victim, who can’t be identified due to a publication ban.
“He has robbed me of them and turned them into his own. And now he is free. He may be running, but he is still running with freedom … his, mine and my sister’s,” she said.
“This man preyed on the innocence of children, on their weaknesses, their fears, and when he could not stop or help himself, he was brought to you to do so for him. And now we find ourselves lost,” she said, breaking down in tears.
Before passing sentence, the judge said Farhat’s flight “disturbed her greatly.” Polowin described how she accepted his lawyer’s arguments that he had never missed a court date, had a wife and three young children, was gainfully employed and had surrendered his passports.
Polowin said what most convinced her Farhat should be released was his promise to voluntarily attend a sexual behaviours assessment at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. Court heard he never even showed up for the initial appointment.
“This court put its trust in Mr. Farhat. His failure to attend for the sexual behaviours assessment, the pre-sentence report and his absconding is a breach of that trust,” said Polowin, who called his actions following his conviction “reprehensible.”
Trevor Brown was the lawyer who argued Farhat should be released following his conviction, but later asked to be removed from the case.
“All I can say is that I asked to be removed as counsel of record because he absconded from the jurisdiction and stopped communicating with me,” Brown said Tuesday. He said he could not make any further comment as he is still bound by lawyer-client confidentiality rules.
Polowin said there were several aggravating factors in the case, including Farhat’s serious breach of trust as someone close to the family of the victims. In several instances, Polowin said the sexual touching occurred when the father or other family members of the victims were in the next room. At the time of the incidents, the victims were between eight and 15 years old.
Assistant Crown attorney Moiz Karimjee asked Polowin to sentence Farhat to seven years in prison, a lengthy sentence he argued was justified given the nature of the crimes and the fact Farhat fled even though he knew prosecutors had concerns he would fail to show up for sentencing.
Karimjee said Farhat was “denying the victims the satisfaction of seeing that justice is done.
“They participated in a justice system, attended a preliminary hearing, testified at trial and now they are faced with Ibrahim Farhat not being present at sentencing,” said Karimjee.
However, Polowin found a seven-year sentence was too long considering case law from similar crimes and sentenced him to three years in prison instead.
Whether Farhat ever serves a day of that sentence is still in question. Ottawa police Det. Allison Cookson testified that the last contact anyone had with Farhat was in April.
Farhat’s wife and children have since left Canada for Lebanon, she said. Farhat, who was not represented during the hearing, is now being sought on an arrest warrant.
Attempts to locate Farhat have so far been unsuccessful, Cookson said, although police have received and are following up tips, including one that he has been seen in Calgary.
Before handing down her decision, Polowin told the two victims their “extremely” articulate and moving victim impact statements would help her be a better judge for years to come.
“It will help me as a judge to always remember the effect on the victim as we move through this process,” she said.
In her victim impact statement, the younger of the two sisters wrote about how the justice system goes to great lengths to remove “all that is humanistic” from the legal process.
“The emphasis is put on facts, litigation and reason,” the now 19-year-old woman said, leaving very little place for emotion.
“What I was depicting was not something I had seen. I was subjected to it. I felt it. I lived it,” the woman said, describing how it was easy to forget she was a victim. “In light of decisions made along the way, I find myself wondering if others in the court had too forgotten.”
The victim added that in her family and culture, she was “just a girl,” and had since had female relatives look at her in disgust and refuse to shake her hand, “not because I had been abused, but because I spoke it.” Neither her mother nor her father attended the sentencing hearing.
Farhat is described as Middle Eastern. He is five-foot-seven with a heavy build, short black hair, brown eyes and a moustache and goatee, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa police sexual assault/child abuse unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944, or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.
With files from Joanne Chianello
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