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, May 19, 2010

Man convicted for sexually assaulting real estate agent

A Winnipeg man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a real estate agent after tricking her into thinking he wanted to buy some property.
Joseph Davis, 41, used the bogus name of "Tom Collins" to set up an elaborate ruse which ended with the victim coming to his home to write up a purchase offer.
Davis claimed the December 2007 incident was a big misunderstanding and that he accidentally grabbed the woman while reaching for a doorway in the dark. But Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Martin ruled Wednesday afternoon that Davis knew exactly what he was doing.
"This entire scenario was a set-up," he said.
Crown attorney Melinda Murray told court they may now seek a dangerous offender designation for Davis, who has numerous criminal convictions across Canada. His past offences include multiple robberies, frauds and a disturbing attack in Halifax in which he posed as an undercover police officer and seriously assaulted an escort that he hired. There is also evidence he tried to target other Winnipeg real estate agents in the weeks preceding this attack.
"He told many lies to many real estate agents and attempted to scam them all," said Martin.
Davis has been in custody since his arrest. His sentencing will be held later this year following the completion of several court-ordered reports.

The victim testified earlier this week how she received a call from Davis, who was using the fake name and claimed he wanted to purchase a new home. He claimed to have found her name through the Real Estate News, then later said he'd visited her office, saw her picture and thought she was "really good-looking."
The woman said she was slightly uncomfortable but brushed aside that comment while taking him to see several residences. She eventually went to his West Kildonan apartment on the belief she would be writing a purchase offer. Davis claimed to have already secured financing and wanted to close the deal.
She said the meeting quickly turned from business to criminal when Davis allegedly grabbed her crotch and put his other hand around her neck while shoving her onto a bed.
"It was shocking to me. I knew I was about to get hurt unless I did something. I had to get out of there," she said. The woman still had a pen in her hand, which she used to stab Davis in the chest, shattering it on impact. She also grabbed his glasses and broke them, hoping he wouldn't be able to see without them.
She ran towards the front door, with Davis now apologizing for what he'd done. The woman fled outside, got in her vehicle and drove away. She immediately called a friend, then police.
Police executed a search warrant at Davis’ home, seizing several items including a computer. Officers searched his hard drive and discovered he had been conducting disturbing online searches for photos and videos depicting violent sexual attacks against real estate agents, court was told. There was also evidence he had been scouring Winnipeg property listings and agents to find the perfect target and location to commit his crime.

Man who lured real estate agent convicted of sexual assault
A Winnipeg man who claimed he lured a real estate agent to his apartment so he could steal her wallet has been convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Joseph Davis, 39, testified a “scam for money” went wrong after he reached for a doorknob and accidentally touched the victim’s body, sending her into an angry panic.
Justice Chris Martin rejected the man’s story, saying there was no question Davis had a sexual purpose in mind when, on Dec. 28, 2007, he grabbed the 50-year-old woman by the crotch and threw her onto his bed.
“I do not accept his testimony,” Martin said. “It does not have the ring of truth and defies common sense.”
Davis claimed he grabbed the woman and threw her on his bed in a misguided attempt to calm her. Martin called Davis’ explanation “mind-boggling” and not consistent with an accident.
“This was not done to soothe her in any way,” Martin said.
The woman testified she had no doubt in her mind Davis intended to rape her. She told court she stabbed Davis in the chest with a pen, ripped his glasses from his head and kneed him in the groin before running out of the apartment.
Davis met the woman the same day she was attacked. Davis invited her to his apartment on the pretext of writing up an offer for a home she had shown him earlier in the day.
Davis admitted in court he had no intention of buying a house. He said he had previously contacted several real estate agents with the intention of stealing their wallets or stealing small items from houses he was shown.
Davis wasn’t arrested until nearly two weeks after the attack. In a lengthy police statement, Davis made no mention of planning to steal the victim’s wallet. Instead, he told police he had misread the victim’s “body language” and believed she was sexually interested in him.
“I don’t read body language,” he told police. “I’ve been locked up a lot, you know what I mean?”
Davis likely won’t be sentenced for some time. Crown attorney Melinda Murray notified court she will be seeking to have Davis designated as a dangerous offender. If sentenced as a dangerous offender, Davis could be held in custody indefinitely or until such time corrections officials feel it is safe to release him.
Davis has a criminal record of 87 convictions spanning his adult life. His crimes include a prison hostage-taking during a botched escape attempt and assaulting a prostitute while posing as a police officer.

Goal to steal cash, not sex, trial told
A Winnipeg man accused of luring a real estate agent to his home and sexually assaulting her told a court Tuesday he only wanted to steal her wallet.
“It was just a scam for money, for cash,” Joseph Davis testified.
Davis, 39, is on trial charged with sexual assault. The Crown alleges Davis lured the woman to his home on Dec. 28, 2007, on the pretext of discussing the purchase of a home she had shown him.
Davis, who admitted to a 20-year criminal record including 86 convictions, testified he is the victim of a misunderstanding.
On Monday, the 52-year-old alleged victim told court she was in Davis’ bedroom using his computer when she got up to retrieve some documents from another room. She said Davis grabbed her by the crotch and flipped her onto his bed.
Davis told court he was reaching for the door handle when he inadvertently brushed the woman’s body.
“I said sorry, I didn’t mean it,” Davis testified. “She looked very angry ... She said she was going to yell. I really panicked at that point. I grabbed her and said ‘Listen, be cool.’ As I tried to carry her to the hallway she spun around and stabbed me with a pen. I pushed her and she landed on the bed.”
The woman testified Monday she stabbed Davis in the chest with a pen, ripped his glasses from his head and kneed him in the groin before running out of the apartment.
Davis admits he had no intention of buying a house. He said he contacted several real estate agents with the intent of stealing their wallets or stealing small items from houses he was shown.
“I was making ends meet,” he said.
“Wouldn’t it be better to be seen as a thief, a scam artist, than a sexual assault accused?” asked Crown attorney Melinda Murray.
Davis said he was afraid he wouldn’t make bail if he told police he stole the woman’s wallet.
“I was already in enough trouble for this,” he said. “I figured down the road it would be sorted out.”
In his police statement, Davis claimed he had misread the victim’s “body language.”
“You had the impression that she was coming on to you, flirting with you?” Murray said.
“I was uncomfortable with where she was sitting, that’s all,” Davis said.
Court heard a police analysis of Davis’ computer revealed he had conducted Google searches days before the attack using the search words “Winnipeg” and “realtors raped.” Davis said he conducted the Internet searches in response to an online real estate bulletin warning real estate agents to beware of him.
Closing arguments in the trial will be heard Wednesday morning.

I would like to know any mitigating factors, info about this man's background life and defence arguments. Otherwise, I cannot make my decision as to whether this man deserves prison or not. Usually I believe that sex offenders need treatment and intensive rehabilitation more than prison, which is where I will stand on this case. However, this man does have an extensive criminal record and was planning to assault other realtors in the city as well. His crimes are pre-meditated and that is a major aggravating factor. I think that in this case, this man does pose a danger to society as he was planning other attacks and has committed many crimes in the past. Therefore, he should receive some prison time followed by rehabilitative programs and therapy to manage his impulses. I think a period of between 2-4 years of prison would be appropriate.    

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