Two sentenced for ‘disgusting’ sex assault
Crown wanted longer prison term for what it described as ‘gang rape’ of woman
What defence lawyers characterized as a party that got out of hand, and the prosecution called a “gang rape” resulted in prison terms on Thursday — but not as steep as those requested by the Crown.
Regina Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Fred Kovach called the actions of two men “callous, disgusting and, indeed, demeaning.”
Jonathan Campbell-Ball, now 27, was sentenced to five years for sexual assault with a weapon, to be served concurrently with sentences for unlawful confinement and common assault.
Jama Roble, 26, was sentenced to four years for sexual assault, to be served concurrently with sentences for assault and unlawful confinement.
Given time already spent in custody, they have 32 months and 11 months remaining, respectively.
Their co-accused, Abdirahman Kahin, 25, has not yet been sentenced for sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault and confinement.
All charges stem from events on Nov. 27 and 28, 2015, when the trio assaulted and confined a then-24year-old woman who was known to Campbell-Ball.
The woman, whose name is protected by a publication ban, came to Regina from Calgary to pursue a romantic relationship with him.
Campbell-Ball and Kahin inserted a whisky bottle into the woman’s rectum, while she cried and objected, Crown prosecutor Chris White said in arguing for a minimum seven-year sentence.
Following that, Roble struck her in the head until she agreed to perform oral sex and lick his anus. His friends laughed during this halfhour ordeal.
Another woman was present at times as well.
White said the woman experienced humiliating and degrading acts “for 20 hours or so,” and “there didn’t appear to be much of an end in sight for (her),” as she was taken to three different hotels and a residence in a strange city.
However, defence lawyer Noah Evanchuk said the experience was not one of ongoing violence. There was also laughter, drinking and drug use. The woman even consented to sex with Campbell-Ball.
Defence lawyer Sharon Fox said the unlawful confinement was psychological. Evanchuk agreed.
“She never tried to escape. She never asked to leave. She was never physically restrained beyond her own mental fears,” said Fox, adding her phone was in the room, but she never tried to access it.
Fox said, in cross-examination at the trial, the woman acknowledged someone looking in would think this was a big orgy.
“I would suggest … that that’s in part what this was,” Fox said. “It went too far; it became nonconsensual, certain elements of it, anyways.”
Evanchuk agreed “this was a party at which things got out of hand.”
White said the fact the woman had consensual sex with Campbell-Ball “shows the depths of her affections towards him,” and that he took advantage of her trust.
Kovach was at “a loss to understand” the men’s motivation, adding they caused the woman “major psychological harm.”
White read a brief victim-impact statement written by the woman, who continues to fear for her safety and that the men might get out of jail and find out where she lives.
She was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and continues to have flashbacks and anxiety attacks. She has trust issues and her family relationships have suffered.
On a positive note, White said, “This incident shot her down the road to recovery,” as she sought rehabilitation. At the time, she was a sex trade worker addicted to crystal meth.
Campbell-Ball apologized for his actions, while Roble said nothing.
“It was never my intention to bring (her) down here to make her leave emotionally scarred,” Campbell-Ball said.
“We’re not monsters, although we’ve been convicted of serious charges. Things just blew out of proportion and I apologize. … I should have stood up and stuck up (for her) and I didn’t.”
The three men were acquitted of additional charges of human trafficking and procuring a person to offer or provide sexual services.
Both Campbell-Ball and Roble have records that include robbery convictions, but not sexual assault.
Campbell-Ball dropped out of Grade 9 and had an unstable upbringing, being shuffled back and forth between the homes of his prescription-drug addict mother and his alcoholic father.
Roble, the son of Ethiopian immigrants, was born and raised in Ottawa.