20 years on the sex offender list for grabbing someone else’s butt

A man who grabbed a stranger’s buttocks at a party will pay dearly for his gesture as he will be on the sex offender list for 20 years.

“I am constantly being touched without my consent, harassed on the street. I was particularly shocked by him because he was also violent. I’m always scared of encountering other violent attackers as they don’t all get reported. It’s scary,” breathes Élise (fictional name), who she met at her home in Montreal.

A publication ban, which she preferred to maintain for fear of social media attacks, prevents us from revealing her identity.

In 2017, while she was dancing with her boyfriend at a bar to celebrate his high school graduation, a stranger watching her squeezed her buttocks in front of another witness.

The then 20-year-old woman froze, turned to her attacker in front of the puzzled looks of her boyfriend, to whom she immediately denounced the situation.

The pair rushed to ask the stranger for an explanation, which would have been refused on the block. A scuffle ensued and the defendant, Albert Xavier Martinez-Abarca, gave his wife two violent blows, breaking his jaw.

“He went for surgery the next day, general anesthesia, four screws in his mouth with iron wires, a titanium plate and his mouth locked for six weeks,” lists the victim.

Labeled for 20 years

During the complaint to the police for aggravated assault, an officer asked Élise if she also wanted to press charges.

” Why ? She asked. – For the sexual assault you experienced. “I didn’t know that was considered sexual assault. »

Martinez-Abarca was found guilty of sexual assault and was automatically placed on the sex offender list for 20 years.

Sex offenders on the list are required to report annually to a registry to update their information to facilitate police investigations into sex crimes.

“It sends a pretty chilling message,” the victim says happily.

Conditional Release

However, the court case dragged on for five years because of two appeals: Judge Joëlle Roy made a “fundamental error” in refusing to treat the injuries as an aggravating circumstance.

“On inspection of the files, it becomes clear that the decision made is guided by the aim of avoiding the consequences of a criminal record for the defendant,” says the decision of the court of appeal.

After her verdict, the judge addressed the sexual assault only briefly, in a paragraph emphasizing it was “a brief gesture, over clothing.”

“The circumstances of this assault, which immediately preceded the aggravated assault, are relevant,” said the Court of Appeal, which eventually decided to sentence the defendant to 12 months in prison.

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