Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Victim felt 'raped all over again'

A Winnipeg man whose former girlfriend said she felt “raped all over again” as he personally cross-examined her during his trial last fall should be sentenced to the maximum allowable jail term for a sexual assault, the Crown suggested Wednesday.

Daniel Olenick, 47, was convicted last September of sex assault and forcible confinement in relation to a February 2006 incident that saw him tie up and stab his girlfriend, then later rape her inside the Point Douglas home the couple began sharing just a few days before the attack.

Crown prosecutor Mike Desautels told court during Olenick’s sentencing hearing Wednesday that the attack was “so far off the deep end it defies explanation.”

Court heard the couple had been drinking, smoking crack cocaine and arguing the day of the incident when Olenick suddenly decided to grab the woman and bind her to a staircase bannister with twine. He then grabbed a steak knife, held it to her throat and stabbed her in the arm, hip, abdomen and back.

“She was like Swiss cheese by the end of it,” Desautels said Wednesday.
Olenick then untied her and forced her to cook him some food. He later became enraged again, dragged her to the bedroom and raped her.

Olenick represented himself at his trial last fall, which resulted in him cross-examining his victim about his own actions — with disastrous results.
The woman told court she felt “raped all over again” by the cross-examination and said she’d made a mistake allowing him to question her.
In cases of a self-represented accused, the Crown can be required to call evidence showing why it’s necessary to have a lawyer appointed to cross-examine a victim. In this case, the woman agreed to allow Olenick to act alone.

At one point Justice Colleen Suche said the trial was turning into “chaos” and that the pair were acting “worse than warring children.”
Desautels asked Suche Wednesday to sentence Olenick, who remains free on bail, to a 10-year global sentence for his crimes. That is the maximum allowable for a common sex assault conviction.

Olenick’s lawyer Dan Manning suggested four years for the sex assault with a year concurrent for the confinement charge, arguing the man has no record to speak of and is a low risk to re-offend.
The victim, now 49, did not attend Wednesday’s hearing.
Suche is expected to render her decision Thursday.

First of all, I would like to know why the victim felt 'raped all over again' as the article did not explain what exactly he asked her that was so wrong. The article did not explain the background info / life hardships of the accused that may have contributed or played a role, in his decision to commit this act (unemployment, poverty, addictions, etc.). 

If he has no prior record and is a low risk to re-offend, I agree with his lawyer in that he should be sentenced to 4 years in prison, for the purpose of denunciation and because this was a violent attack. If he has done well on complying with his bail conditions, this would also be reason to sentence him more lightly. In my opinion, I think that 2 years would be even more appropriate than 4.   


  1. Hey Brit, I think I can answer part of that: first of all I completely agree with your review, compassion seems not a part of the legal process; rather, it often becomes a positional bargaining proposition, with those trained best to argue winning position and favour with the court or jury. I have some experience in the Winnipeg COQB and Family Court. This leads to the more experienced and costly legal defenses winning the and the prosecution becoming entirely positional to be able to compensate for their tough challenges. I think you hit the nail on the head with "hardships" leading to behaviours as well. It's written in the review: they both smoked crack, used alcohol, likely to excess. That factor was never disputed. Finally, he maintains his innocence, and maybe two alcoholic crackheads DID take part in sado-masochistic activity and somehow it went too far. A person silly enough to self-represent at a criminal hearing may not have been the best convincer of his position against a crown attourney, yes? Courts don't look to do the right thing, they look to follow procedures. They look for little compassion and more mutual agreement. Sad but true, like I said, you have it entirely, no thought, no compassion, just get the case out, get agreement, and try not to understand. Hope you do a better job than they did when you are sworn in. Do yourself a favour and practice law in a less socialist province with a lesser amount of a "judges club". That's the real issue. Nice review. D

  2. I agree. The courts have no compassion. Thanks for the compliment!