An Ontario man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman during a party despite his multiple attempts at appealing the verdict. The 38-year-old has been battling the case for eight years in court as he tried to fight the accusations with different defences. Ryan Hartman's recent reasoning was that the sexual assault was a result of him suffering from "sexsomnia" and he appealed the guilty verdict, but the defence did not work and he has now been sentenced to one year in prison.
Today on Wednesday, March 21, Hartman's most recent appeal against the case was rejected by Justice Kimberley Moore. He has now been sentenced to serve one year in prison. He will also face three months of probation. After several years of court battles, Hartman will finally be serving time in jail.
Once again, his lawyers are not giving up without a fight. They are asking that he serve his time under house arrest instead of in jail so that he can take care of his mother and family.
A Brockville, Ont. judge will pronounce a sentence at 2 pm ET in the case of a man who said he was asleep when he assaulted a college student in 2011. The defence says Ryan Hartman has expressed regret; the Crown notes he apologized to the victim's boyfriend but not the victim.
Hartman was accused of raping 30-year-old Bekah D'Aoust at a party near Brockville back in 2011. She was sleeping on a mattress beside her boyfriend when Hartman assaulted her.
A year later in 2012, Hartman was found guilty, but he managed to appeal the verdict. This started a long, multi-year journey of trials and appeals. His lawyers even claimed in one of the appeals that the Ontario man suffered from "sexsomnia".
They argued that he was actually sleeping when he sexually assaulted her. It was argued that Sexsomnia is an actual real disorder and entails people having sex while they're asleep. However, this reasoning was not strong enough and not proven true of Hartman, and the appeal by the accused was unsuccessful.
Today marked the denial of his last appeal and Hartman has been sentenced, around eight years after the incident took place. The victim said this is the first time she feels free after a multi-year court battle.
She gave a victim impact statement today during the proceedings. "Eight years ago you made a choice that changed my life forever," said D'Aoust, CTV News reports. "Today, I am letting go of that. Today I am free."
Source: CTV News