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Serial rapist likely to strike again if released from prison, prosecutor says

Sofyan Boalag (background) and his lawyer Jeff Brace (foreground) attend the third day of Boalag’s dangerous-offender hearing in provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday. Boalag raped three women in the downtown area in 2012, robbing two of them and choking one until she was unconscious.
Sofyan Boalag (background) and his lawyer Jeff Brace (foreground) attend the third day of Boalag’s dangerous-offender hearing in provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday. Boalag raped three women in the downtown area in 2012, robbing two of them and choking one until she was unconscious.

Serial rapist Sofyan Boalag meets “any and all” criteria to be deemed a dangerous offender and kept behind bars indefinitely, Crown prosecutor Trisha McCarthy told the court Wednesday.

She was clear as to why: “Sofyan Boalag is dangerous.”

McCarthy was giving her submission at Boalag’s dangerous-offender hearing, which would see him kept behind bars for an indefinite period of time if Judge Pamela Goulding accepts the Crown’s evidence.

Boalag, 37, raped two women and a 15-year-old girl as they walked home from the downtown St. John’s area over the summer and fall of 2012. He also robbed one of the women and the teenager, and choked the other woman until she was rendered unconscious. Boalag was armed with a stick in the first case, a knife in the other two.

Quoting a report and testimony earlier in the week by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Jasbir Gill, who conducted a lengthy evaluation of Boalag at the Waterford Hospital, McCarthy said Boalag was likely to reoffend unless he received more jail time, sex offender treatment and supervision in the community.

McCarthy acknowledged Gill’s suggestion that Boalag could be rehabilitated after that, but noted there was no mention of how long the treatment would take.

McCarthy said Boalag told Gill he was willing to participate in sex offender treatment, but when asked why, replied, “Because they will make me.”

“He did not accept he had any sexual deviance,” McCarthy said, adding Boalag had blamed his actions on alcohol and cocaine abuse.

“He refers to these incidents as mistakes. That’s a gross understatement if there ever was one.”

Upon assessment, Boalag, a native of Algeria, displayed evidence of hostility towards women, McCarthy said, as well as insecurity, jealousness and possessiveness toward them.

He expressed his opinion that women in Canada were “dirty and disrespectful,” McCarthy said, adding he has had no treatment or counselling since then.

McCarthy noted an escalation in the seriousness of Boalag’s attacks, and pointed out that despite his victims’ pleas, offers of property and declarations of age and virginity, Boalag didn’t stop.

“He has a complete disregard for the trauma of his victims,” McCarthy said.

She also told the court Boalag had previously been caught lying to immigration officials here and in Switzerland, in an attempt to obtain refugee status. He admitted to Gill that he wanted to come here to work, but felt he would be turned down.

“Mr. Boalag, through his crimes and his conduct, has caught himself in a web of deceit from which he must not be extricated,” McCarthy told the court. 

McCarthy asked Goulding to declare Boalag a dangerous offender, or else sentence him to 17 years in jail: five for the attacks on each of the women and seven for the attack on the teenager.

If given dangerous-offender status, Boalag would be reassessed after seven years in jail and again every two years after that.

Boalag’s lawyer, Jeff Brace, will present his submissions to the court on Friday.

 

Tara.bradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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