York University rapist sentenced to eight years
Published Wednesday, April 14, 2010 1:41PM EDT
Daniel Katsnelson, the 27-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting two York University students on campus, has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
He was handed the sentence Wednesday morning at the University Avenue courthouse in Toronto.
The Crown was seeking a term of 10 years while Katsnelson's attorneys were hoping for a sentence between three and five years in prison.
The Thornhill resident pleaded guilty to the charges back in January.
"(The judge) in a very carefully reasoned judgement sent a very clear signal that serial predators, particularly those who are going to operate on the campuses of the universities in this community or other communities, will be dealt with fairly but firmly," said Crown Attorney Andrew Locke.
One of Katsnelson's victims appeared to be happy with the judge's decision, smiling as the ruling was read out.
Afterwards, when asked by the media if the sentence was in line with what she was expecting, she said, "Yup."
In sentencing, Justice Ian MacDonnell wrote, "It is significant the crimes were not crimes of opportunity but rather the product of pre-meditated tresspassing of the university dormitories."
Katsnelson, who changed his name to Daniel Kaye after he was charged, committed the assaults in 2007.
In an agreed statement of facts that was read out in the courtroom earlier this year, Katsnelson and his friend wandered the hallways of York's Vanier dormitory during frosh week.
The two were familiar with the campus as they had graduated from York in 2006.
Court heard that the men went to random rooms and tried to open the door. They found one door unlocked on the seventh floor, entered the room uninvited and woke up a sleeping 17 year old.
According to the statement of facts, Katsnelson and his friend engaged the girl in small talk before sexually assaulting her and taking pictures of the crime.
Katsnelson, who was crying in court as the statement of facts was read out, also admitted to having non-consensual sex with an 18-year-old student who was in another unlocked room.
Investigators eventually found Katsnelson's DNA on his victim and arrested him a short time later.
Last month, he told a probation officer during a pre-sentencing interview that he hoped his victims had learned something from the experience, like how to keep their doors locked.
Det. Christine Long said the victims were prey to a predator.
"It was a game of predator versus prey," she said. "And he went out there to pick prey, floor by floor, room by room."
After his arrest, Katsnelson was placed under house arrest but the conditions of his bail allowed him to conduct business.
He founded a business called The Responsible Business Group which created the Live Green Toronto Membership Card. In August 2009, the company partnered with the City of Toronto to offer this card to local businesses and residents. The company announced the five-year partnership with the city on its blog on August 16, 2009.
A spokesperson for Toronto Mayor David Miller said the mayor had no idea that Kaye was in fact Katsnelson or had any inkling of the criminal charges when the business deal was made.
With files from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney