Mustafa Ururyar, the York University PhD student who raped fellow student Mandi Gray, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison—the maximum penalty possible.
Judge Marvin Zuker handed down the sentence, which will be followed by three years of probation, in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday. In a highly rare decision, Ururyar was also ordered to pay $8,000 to cover part of Gray's legal fees—she hired her own lawyer to counsel her throughout the proceedings. His lawyers contested this, arguing that because Gray was represented by the Crown, she didn't need her own attorney.
While reading the guilty verdict in July, Zuker harshly condemned rape myths and the treatment of sex assault complainants in court, citing academic and feminist readings including the Maya Angelou poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
"No other crime is looked upon with the degree of blameworthiness, suspicion, and doubt as a rape victim. Victim blaming is unfortunately common and is one of the most significant barriers to justice and offender accountability," he said at the time.
He seemed to double down on those sentiments during Wednesday's sentencing.
"Rape and sex assaults are pitiless wicked crimes," he said, according to the Toronto Star. "Tolerance for rape is a very old and freshly infuriating story. Victims deserve a new solution."
Ururyar raped Gray in the early morning of January 31, 2015. The pair had been dating casually, and on the night of January 30 they left a bar together. Back at his apartment, he ended the relationship, then forced her to have oral and vaginal sex with him.
Ururyar's lawyers asked that he be given a conditional sentence—meaning no jail time—or house arrest.
Zuker disagreed, saying "Those who commit the crime of rape must understand they do so at their peril."
He also suggested victim impact statements instead be called "survivor" impact statements to more accurately reflect complainants.
In her impact statement, Gray attached evidence of her legal fees and psychotherapy sessions; the latter cost her more than $3,700.
Of her decision to seek out her own lawyer, David Butt, she wrote, "Most problematic is that due to the ongoing and discriminatory cross-examination resulting in emotional distress, Mr. Butt had to write a letter to the Crown and defence counsel to remind (defence lawyer) Ms. Bristow of courtroom ethics and the law in sexual assault cases. Victims should not be required to pay (emotionally or financially) for the failure of the courts to respect the ethics and legal protections of victim/witnesses."
Under a heading called "emotional impact" she said, "I have no interest in sharing the emotional, physical or psychological impact of being raped. As I expect you and your lawyer to minimize my claims because I do not want to go into detail, I have attached an overview of the time and money I have spent attending therapy."
Asked why she chose not to describe how the rape has affected her mental health, Gray told VICE, "I honestly just have no interest in telling that asshole anything about me. Plus he is appealing the decision, so he clearly still does not think he did anything wrong, so it feels weird to be vulnerable for someone who really does not care even a bit."
Ururyar's lawyers have already appealed the conviction and on Thursday will request that he be released on bail until the appeal is heard.
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