Teen gets3 years for violent rape
A Winnipeg teen has been sentenced as an adult to three years in prison for the violent rape of a 16-year-old girl.
William Yuzicappi was 17 years old when he and two adult co-accused crossed paths with the victim as she walked home from a party along St. John’s Avenue on Aug. 20, 2008.
Yuzicappi and the girl kissed for a time before all three accused “carried, pushed and dragged” her to a backyard, said Crown attorney Susan Baragar.
One of the adult accused left while the other held the struggling girl down on the ground and pulled off her pants and underwear.
The man asked Yuzicappi “Can you take it from here?” at which point Yuzicappi put on a condom and raped the girl.
The girl, who herself is in custody, was present in court and appeared distraught.
“This crime made me feel like I was nothing, like I was dirty and used,” she wrote in a victim impact statement read out in court.
Baragar said police talked the girl off a bridge last February during an apparent suicide attempt.
“Clearly, the emotional impact has been enormous,” Baragar said.
Yuzicappi’s sentence was jointly recommended by the Crown and defence and includes three years supervised probation.
Justice Chris Martin credited Yuzicappi 14 months for time served, reducing his remaining sentence to 22 months.
“What happened here is something that is absolutely shameful,” Martin said.
One of Yuzicappi’s co-accused previously pleaded guilty to common assault and received a one-year conditional sentence. The other pleaded guilty to forcible confinement and was sentenced to eight months time served.
Baragar said identification issues weakened the cases against the two accused.
She said their guilty pleas spared the victim from having to testify up to four times at their preliminary hearings and trials.
Teen gets adult sentence for rape
A Winnipeg youth has been given an adult sentence for randomly attacking and raping a 16-year-old girl as she walked through the city's North End.
William Yuzicappi received three years in prison and three years of supervised probation Wednesday under a joint recommendation between Crown and defence lawyers. He admitted to being one of three young men who grabbed the victim off the street and dragged her into a back lane of St. John's Avenue. Yuzicappi was 17 at the time of the August 2008 incident.
"The crime made me feel like I was nothing. I felt so dirty and used," the teen girl said in a victim impact statement read aloud in court by the Crown. She had just left a house party and was walking to her grandparents' home when she was attacked.
Yuzicappi admits forcing intercourse with the victim while his co-accused held her down.
The third man helped get the girl to the secluded location but then took off before the rape, court was told.
Yuzicappi's name can now be published because he consented to the adult sentence. He has spent the past 14 months in custody without bail, which was given single-time credit to be deducted from his overall sentence.
His two co-accused, both adults, have already been sentenced. One pleaded guilty to forcible confinement and was given eight months custody, while the other admitted to simple assault and received a one-year conditional sentence.
Rare sentence for teen in sex attack
Manitoba Justice officials have won a rare penalty against a Winnipeg teen who was ordered to serve an adult sentence of three years in prison on Wednesday for a violent and random sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl in the city's North End.
William Yuzicappi, now 18, was one of three people who dragged the girl into a back lane of St. John's Avenue to attack her on the early morning of Aug. 20, 2008.
'The crime made me feel like I was nothing.'—Sexual assault victimYuzicappi seriously sexually assaulted the victim while another man was forcibly holding her down, court heard at a sentencing hearing.
He was originally charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act with sexual assault with a weapon, but was ordered to serve an adult sentence of three years behind bars to be followed by three years of supervised probation.
Adult sentences against youth in Manitoba are rare events and usually the subject of heated litigation. Yuzicappi's case highlights a growing trend by prosecutors to seek harsher penalties for young offenders.
Yuzicappi agreed to a deal with the Crown last week to plead to the lesser charge of sexual assault in exchange for the adult term. The decision came after months of negotiation between his lawyer and the Crown, court heard.
Yuzicappi was given credit for just over a year of time already served and will be released in 22 months time. The Crown and his defence lawyer are recommending he serve his time at a youth jail in Portage la Prairie.
The imposition of an adult sentence means an order banning the the publication of his name is no longer in effect.
3 on 1 attackAccording to the facts of the case read aloud in court, Yuzicappi and two adult men encountered the victim as she was walking home from a house party.
Court heard that there was some conversation that took place between the victim and Yuzicappi, which ended in the two consensually kissing.
Things turned ugly when the three males grabbed the girl and dragged her through a broken fence and through a yard into a back lane. One of the men left the scene at that point, but the other held her down while Yuzicappi prepared to assault her.
"Can you take it from here?," the Crown said Yuzicappi was asked prior to the second adult fleeing.
The girl was left alone in the back lane but soon got up to seek help from people at the party she had just left, prosecutor Susan Baragar said.
Her cries for help prompted a umber of partygoers to leave the gathering and surrounded a residence one of the suspects was witnessed going into, according to Baragar.
Police were called, but Yuzicappi and others emerged from inside and began pepper-spraying the crowd, which quickly dispersed.
Police arrested Yuzicappi after the girl came to them to complain that same morning. While he initially denied having anything to do with the sexual assault, he made comments while being interviewed by police that resulted in charges being laid.
He was granted bail eight days after his arrest. He's been in continuous custody since November 2008.
Victim suicidalThe teen victim was in court Wednesday to witness the hearing. Clearly distraught, the girl requested that Baragar read a victim impact statement on her behalf.
"The crime made me feel like I was nothing," the girl wrote in her statement to the court.
'The emotional impact was huge.'—Crown attorney Susan BaragarShe said since the attack, she's no longer able to trust and has been in trouble at school.
Her family life has also deteriorated, she said, indicating that she's often, "angry, sad — sometimes hopeless that I'll ever have a family again."
Court heard that after she was called to testify at a prior hearing in the case, she tried to hurl herself off a city bridge and had to be talked down off the guardrail by police officers.
"It's obvious the emotional impact was huge," Baragar told Justice Chris Martin.
Attack not planned: defence lawyerYuzicappi's defence lawyer said alcohol and drugs affected his ability to process his actions.
"This wasn't a planned or intended act," he said, adding that Yuzicappi had a girlfriend at the time. "He wasn't the type of person to prowl around and find girls to have sex with."
Yuzicappi had no prior criminal record before the incident, court heard.
"What happened here is something that is absolutely shameful," Martin said, noting it was remarkable that someone with a background as stable as Yuzicappi's could commit such an act.
"Dragging a young woman through a fence into a back lane with two other people is abhorrent behavior … this conduct can not, and is not condoned by the community," Martin said.
In a short statement to the court, Yuzicappi said he was sorry for what happened.
"I feel bad about everything," he told Martin. "You'll never see me back in court again."
As he was being led out of court in handcuffs, a relative shouted to him.
"You'll be free soon, man … you're not going to stay locked up forever," the man said.
2 others admit guiltUnder the terms of his sentence, Yuzicappi must also submit a DNA sample to the RCMP national crime databank and is prohibited from carrying weapons for 10 years after he leaves prison.
He must also take counseling geared toward sex-offenders as part of his probation order. He is forbidden from going anywhere near the victim.
Baragar said problems with the case against the adult suspects resulted in their pleading guilty to lesser charges.
One admitted to simple assault and served a one-year conditional sentence in the community.
The other pleaded guilty to forcible confinement and served "about" eight or nine months in jail, Baragar said.