I've heard some real dandies from rape trials and sentencing hearings before, but this just about takes the cake:
It's a safe bet spectators thought things could not get worse in Ontario Superior Court on Friday, once the two women [raped by 27-year-old Daniel Katsnelson at York University during frosh week in 2007] finished reading out their victim impact statements. But things did get worse when Crown prosecutor Andrew Locke rose to recount the rapist's own words, as recorded by a probation officer in a pre-sentence report.Rage. Seethe. Boil.
"[Mr. Katsnelson] states he hopes some day the victim will be able to take away something positive from this, as he has," the report's author wrote. When asked what that might be, Mr. Katsnelson "suggested that now maybe she will know to keep her doors locked, while adding the offence would have been devastating to her."
It takes someone really special to be considered an asshole among rapists.
"I am afraid of the dark and always sleep with the TV on," said [one of Katsnelson's victims], an aspiring dancer who added that dating relationships have been difficult to establish. "Rape is like a tattoo; it may fade away with time, but it will never be gone."Katsnelson, who gave his victims a life sentence, was sentenced to eight years.
The second woman broke down in tears two sentences into her statement. She said she had hoped the incident would be a "bump in the road," but instead described a rough, dark ongoing journey.
"For the past three years, I have spent every day pushing the thoughts of what happened to me out of my head, but it always comes back," she said. "I used to be a little too idealistic in believing everything happens for a reason ... but nothing good has come out of what happened to me."
I don't know that I can say that something good can ever come out of being raped. Not directly, anyway. But I know that it's possible to retroactively give meaning and purpose to an otherwise meaningless, senseless act. And there is some measure of peace in that.
I wish peace to both of these survivors.
[H/T to Shaker Sarah.]