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Michael Rafferty, the man convicted of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford is asking Ontario's highest court to order that the public fund his appeal. (Canadian Press)

The man convicted of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford is asking Ontario's highest court to order that the public fund his appeal.

Michael Rafferty has tried four times since his convictions in May 2012 to get Legal Aid to pay for his appeal and each time he was denied.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is set to hear arguments today from a lawyer representing Rafferty just on his bid to get his appeal funded.

In a motion filed with the court lawyer Paul Calarco says Rafferty can't pay for the appeal himself and the complex legal issues involved mean Rafferty isn't able to argue the appeal himself.

Rafferty wants the Appeal Court to assign him a lawyer and either order the attorney general's office to pay his legal bills or order Legal Aid Ontario to fund the appeal.

Rafferty's trial heard that he and his former girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, lured Tori from her school in Woodstock, Ont., and drove to a secluded field, where the Grade 3 student was sexually assaulted and brutally beaten to death in April 2009.