The man at the centre of the so-called “sexsomnia” trial has been sentenced after nearly eight years of court proceedings.
Justice Kimberly Moore handed Ryan Hartman, 38, a one-year sentence with three years of probation.
The case stems from the sexual assault of Bekah D’Aoust, 31, at a party back in 2011. A publication ban on D’Aoust’s name was lifted earlier this month at her request.
“Victory, finally,” she said. “It was just, I wanted to cry but I couldn’t because I’m relieved. Completely relieved.”
That relief comes after the case has dragged on for years. Hartman was convicted of the crime in 2012 but appealed. When his appeal was struck down, Hartman appealed again and tried to use the defence of sexsomnia: the 38-year-old admitted he had committed the sexual assault but said he was sleepwalking when it occurred. His second appeal was also struck down.Hartman’s latest attempt — to have the case thrown out on constitutional grounds — was dismissed today. He claimed he hadn’t received a speedy trial.
In her ruling, Moore said: “The gravity of his offence cannot be overstated.
“This was not a kiss, caress or touching; it was sexual penetration,” the judge said.
D’Aoust also delivered a victim impact statement to the court. She said that after the assault, she resorted to drugs to deal with her crippling anxiety and gave up on her career choice to work with victims and offenders.
“I’m completely overwhelmed by anxiety every day,” she said through tears.
“You made a thoughtless and selfish choice,” D’Aoust said to Hartman. “You have shown no remorse. Now, you feel the consequences.”
Hartman was given a chance to address the court but declined to comment. D’Aoust said this didn’t surprise her, but she is still upset that he won’t admit fault.
Hartman’s lawyer, Margaret Bojanowska, asked the court for leniency in his sentence, saying any time behind bars could jeopardize his job as a heavy-load trucker. She asked the judge for a conditional sentence for her client, claiming it would allow him to continue to support his family and mother, who solely depends on him for help.
Bojanowska described the assault as an isolated incident, saying Hartman suffers from Asperger syndrome, ADHD and anxiety.
Moore denied the request, sentencing Hartman to a year in jail and imposing several conditions on him, including no contact with the victim and mandatory counselling.