Man who attacked woman in seniors' home sentenced to life

A man who brutally attacked and sexually assaulted an 84-year-old woman, who later died, asked a judge Wednesday for help accessing rehabilitation programs.

No chance of parole for ten years

Marvin Witzaney was sentenced to life in prison. (Facebook)
A man who brutally attacked and sexually assaulted an 84-year-old woman, who later died, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with no chance of parole for ten years.

Marvin Witzaney, 48, pleaded guilty to attacking the woman in a downtown seniors’ lodge in May 2011.

In his sentencing decision, Justice Eric Macklin said Witzaney's offences were violent, brutal and degrading. Macklin said the extended parole period provided a deterrent and denunciation, which were paramount.

"She was deprived of her right to live in peace and tranquility," Macklin said of the victim.

The prosecution and defence had made a joint submission requesting the sentence Macklin delivered. Macklin also referred to expert testimony from a doctor that suggested Witzaney would be a high risk to re-offend.

Edmonton Chinese Seniors' Lodge, where May 2011 attack occurred.
Witzaney broke into the woman's suite at the Edmonton Chinese Seniors' Lodge in May 2011 once before being frightened away. He returned a second time, hitting the woman over the head with a metal thermos before sexually assaulting her.

The victim died eight days later. Witzaney was originally charged with second-degree murder, but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and sexual assault causing bodily harm.

He told the judge that he didn’t remember anything about the night of the attack, and that he would take the victim's place if it meant that she could be returned to her family.

Witzaney, who has 22 previous criminal convictions, also asked to be sent to a prison that had the best rehabilitation programs, a request Macklin agreed with.