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Repeat sex offender gets penitentiary term for brutal attack

By Keith Lacey A Sudbury man who committed a brutal sexual assault two years ago while on probation for another sexual attack was given the equivalent of a six-year penitentiary term Monday.
By Keith Lacey

A Sudbury man who committed a brutal sexual assault two years ago while on probation for another sexual attack was given the equivalent of a six-year penitentiary term Monday.

Craig Barton, 30, pleaded guilty to sexual assault, forcible confinement and breaching a court order to not consume alcohol. He was on probation for the same three charges from a 1998 conviction.

Barton, who has spent 23 months in custody since his arrest April 19, 2000, was given an extra 32 months in a federal penitentiary by Justice Ian Gordon of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Gordon gave the accused credit for two days time served for every day he's been behind bars since his arrest.

Gordon called Barton's violent attack "ugly and compelling, violent and disrespectful...the facts of this case show a complete lack of respect by yourself for another was just mindless and a vicious breach of personal integrity, of sexual integrity and emotional integrity.

"The victim was left weeping and psychologically broken."

The only mitigating factors in Barton?s favour are his plea of guilt, which saved the victim from the pain of testifying at trial, and remorse Barton displayed for the first time Monday in court.

Gordon ordered Barton to provide a DNA sample for a national crime bank and banned him from owning prohibited weapons for the rest of his life, noting Barton?s 40 criminal convictions, including 11 offences for violence.

Assistant Crown attorney Susan Stothart told the court how Barton met a young woman and her girlfriend at a downtown bus stop and convinced them to attend his residence.

The victim's boyfriend was called and joined them. Even though he was under a court order to not consume alcohol, Barton shared alcohol and marijuana with his guests before his personality changed dramatically and he became incensed insisting someone had stolen his marijuana stash.

Barton told the young woman and man to leave and threatened them before grabbing his victim and pushing her inside his bedroom, said Stothart.

The victim was yelling and screaming so loud people outside the apartment could clearly hear her calls for help, she said.

Barton used his size and strength to pin her down, removed his pants, then his victim's pants and raped her.

Police were called and arrived at the scene and found the victim delirious near the bottom of stairs outside the apartment.

Barton remained aggressive with police and called the woman "a whore and a liar" on numerous occasions, said Stothart.

The victim was taken to hospital and had to undergo tests as part of a "rape kit." She suffered numerous bruises and cuts to her head, neck, arms and torso.

Barton didn't use a condom, which made his victim afraid of pregnancy, contracting AIDS or another sexually transmitted disease. This was a vicious, brutal rape which occurred when Barton was on probation for another sexual assault and forcible confinement, said Stothart.

Psychiatric reports indicate Barton suffers from an anti-social personality disorder and is a habitual abuser of alcohol. Barton lacks any insight into how devastating his attack was on his victim, said Stothart.

Rape is "an offence of brutal violation of the most intimate aspects of a person's being" and involves not only physical violence, but leaves emotional and psychological scars that often don't go away, she said.

All court delays over two years are a direct result of Barton firing lawyers before the matter could proceed, she said.

Defence counsel Edmond Paquette asked the court to release Barton saying 23 months in custody, all of it spent in segregation, is a sufficient penalty.

The sexual assault was spontaneous and not planned and his personality disorder and alcohol addiction contributed to the terrible events of that night, said Paquette.

Barton told the court he's "had a lot of time to think" about his actions that night and believes his problems with the law stem from his alcohol addiction.

"I'm perfectly normal and not a mean person to people around me" when he's sober.

"I'm truly sorry. I never wanted anything like this to happen."