Crown cites Boalag's violence, indifference at dangerous-offender hearing

The Crown prosecutor in the Sofyan Boalag case didn't mince any words Wednesday morning at a hearing in St. John's to try to have him declared a dangerous offender.

Prosecutor Trisha McCarthy says serial rapist should remain in prison until he changes

Convicted rapist Sofyan Boalag makes a court appearance Wednesday. (Ted Dillon/CBC News)

The Crown prosecutor in the dangerous offender hearing for Sofyan Boalag didn't mince any words Wednesday morning.

"Sofyan Boalag is dangerous," Trisha McCarthy told the court.

Boalag has been convicted of raping two women and a 15-year-old girl in St. John's in the summer and fall of 2012. A dangerous-offender designation would give him an indefinite or indeterminate sentence.

McCarthy reminded the court that Dr. Jasbir Gill, the forensic psychiatrist who assessed Boalag, testified that he blamed the rapes on his drug and alcohol abuse, and doesn't have an understanding of his underlying sexually deviant behaviour.

I believe he will fail to restrain himself in the future.- Trisha McCarthy

Boalag was using a lot of cocaine and drinking heavily every day leading up to the attacks. Gill also testified that Boalag is jealous, controlling and insecure when it comes to women.

Earlier in the week, Dr. Gill told the court that without further incarceration for significant treatment, Boalag is a "high risk to reoffend."

"He says women in North America, Canada are dirty, disrespectful [of men]," said McCarthy, who added that Boalag's attitude towards women today is essentially the same as five years ago.

Crown prosecutor Trisha McCarthy says Sofyan Boalag remains a risk to society. (Ted Dillion/CBC News)

"I believe he will fail to restrain himself in the future," said McCarthy.

Gill testified that with treatment in prison, followed by supervision in the community, Boalag would be a good candidate for rehabilitation. But McCarthy countered that Gill didn't say how long that rehabilitation would take, and said it should be left to psychiatrists who would work with Boalag in the federal penal system to decide when he's ready to be released.

If the court deems Boalag a dangerous offender, he would be assessed after serving seven years, and if not released at that point, assessed every two years after that.

Sofyan Boalag's lawyer, Jeff Brace, will give his summation on Friday. (Ted Dillion/CBC News)

McCarthy said Boalag is a significant risk to the public, committed a significant violent offence, and had a weapon each time he raped his victims. She said the severity of the attacks and the psychological damage to his victims are enough to conclude he's a dangerous offender. 

"He had a stick or something similar with his first victim, and then a knife with his second, and with the third, he had a knife and choked her," said McCarthy.

He says these were mistakes — a gross understatement if there ever was one.- Trisha McCarthy

McCarthy also reminded the court that Boalag continued his assaults no matter how much pleading his victims did; the 15-year-old told him she was a virgin, while the women offered him money or items to stop.

McCarthy said that when Gill assessed Boalag, he showed indifference to the impact of his actions on others.

More concerned with himself than effect on others: McCarthy

"He seemed more concerned about how this would affect him," said McCarthy. "He seems more concerned about himself and getting his life back. … He says these were mistakes — a gross understatement if there ever was one." 

McCarthy also said Boalag lied to immigration officials about wanting to come to Canada because he was a refugee, admitting to Gill that he wanted to come to Canada for work but was afraid he'd be turned away if he said that.

McCarthy told Judge Pamela Goulding that if she decides Boalag should not be declared a dangerous offender, she should send him to jail for 17 years — five years for each of the women, and seven years for his attack on the teenager.

The matter is due back in court Oct. 6, when Boalag's lawyer, Jeff Brace, will give his summation. 

About the Author

Glenn Payette


A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.