Saturday, March 27, 2010
Jewish rapist told probation officer victims should learn to lock doors
A Jewish college student convicted of raping two young women in their residence-room beds has suggested they should learn to keep their doors locked. The startling comment by Daniel Katsnelson was made during an interview with a probation officer, Crown attorney Andrew Locke said during sentencing submissions in Ontario Superior Court. The Crown is asking that Katsnelson, 27, be sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault and sexual assault causing bodily harm. Katsnelson indicated he hoped his victims could take something "positive" away from the experience of being sexually assaulted. "When asked what that might be, he suggested that maybe she will now know to keep her doors locked," the pre-sentence report stated. Katsnelson has admitted he was "prowling" Vanier residence at York University in the early morning hours of Sept. 7, 2007, and "hoping to get lucky" after a night of drinking. The college graduate and his friend Justin Connort managed to enter the building under the pretext of helping an intoxicated friend. Instead, the two men went from room to room, looking for doors that were open. (Connort pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault in December 2008, and was sentenced to three years in prison). Their first victim, who was 17 at the time, was asleep and unaware her roommate had left and did not lock the door. "Do you want to get lucky with a couple Jewish guys?" the woman was asked by Katsnelson and Connort. They took off her clothes and Katsnelson had "vaginal intercourse from behind without her consent," the court heard. They took photos of her and left after she resisted a second attempt at intercourse. The victim read out a victim impact statement in court yesterday, and stated she has suffered severe psychological trauma from the attack. " I have been given a life sentence through no fault of my own," she stated. After trying to get into several other rooms, Katsnelson had intercourse with an 18-year-old student without her consent, the court heard. The second victim told Superior Court Justice Ian Mac-Donnell that she lost her virginity in the sexual assault. "I feel like damaged goods. I have lost my sense of independence. I am sure I will never be the same," said the young woman, during a brief, but emotional victim impact statement.