The lawyer for convicted rapist, Sofyan Boalag, says his client does not meet the threshold to be considered a dangerous offender.

Jeff Brace told provincial court in St. John's Friday that Boalag should get a fixed-term sentence — he suggested 10 years, with extra credit for the five years he has already spent in jail.

Boalag's lawyer, Jeff Brace

Boalag's lawyer, Jeff Brace, says what his client did was 'horrific' but did not constitute a pattern of sexual violence. (Cal Tobin/CBC News)

A dangerous offender designation could mean an indefinite sentence. Barring that, the Crown is asking for a 17-year term.

No pattern of crime

The court was told that Boalag had gotten into three fights at Her Majesty's Penitentiary.

Brace said that shouldn't be seen as unusual given that Boalag, who is from Algeria, was called "a rapist" and the N-word.

"There are people who want to pound someone to do the world a favour," Brace said.

One of the elements required to determine if a person is a dangerous offender is to establish a pattern of crime.

Boalag committed three rapes between September and December of 2012 on two women and a teenage girl.

"This is a cluster as opposed to a pattern," Brace said.

He noted that case law shows that dangerous offenders have dozens if not hundreds of pages in their criminal records, and that Boalag did not have a criminal record until now.

Crown Prosecutor Trisha McCarthy

Crown Prosecutor Trisha McCarthy says Boalag should get a 17-year sentence if he is not declared a dangerous offender. (Cal Tobin/CBC News)

Earlier this week, Forensic Psychiatrist Jasbir Gill, told the court that Boalag was not forthcoming during her assessment of him.

Brace said Boalag did just the opposite.

"I think he shared his whole life. He said how he had been sexually abused as a child. He talked about his sex life with his spouse. He expressed his concern about the appearance of his genitals."

Brace said that Boalag was less willing to talk about the rapes because he knew that anything he told the psychiatrist in a court-ordered assessment could be used against him in court. 

Disputes risk to re-offend

Dr. Gill said she determined that Boalag was a high risk to re-offend if he didn't remain in prison and get treatment.

Brace said Gill told the court that Boalag had "zero evidence of psychopathic tendencies." 

He noted that on tests to measure Boalag's likelihood for future violence and sexual offences, Boalag would have been scored as a low risk to re-offend if Gill had decided to use a different margin of error on the tests.

'I'm not trying to say this wasn't anything terrifying.' - Jeff Brace,  Boalag's lawyer

Brace reminded the court that when he asked Gill why she said Boalag was a high risk she said because of his drug history, but she couldn't say how he would behave once out of prison.

"She concluded he's a high risk because of what she doesn't know," said Brace.

"The threshold has not been met for dangerous offender [designation]."

"I'm not trying to say this wasn't anything but terrifying," said Brace. "We make no bones about the impact this had on these women. It's horrific."

Denied 're-victimizing' women

However Brace denied Friday that his client was responsible for "re-victimizing" the women he assaulted.

He said the defence and Crown were close to reaching a deal that would have avoided a trial, but supervisors in the Crown Prosecutor's Office didn't care if Boalag was willing to plead guilty. 

Judge Pamela Goulding

Provincial court Chief Judge Pamela Goulding will give her sentencing decision on Nov. 9. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

"Essentially, we were told there was nothing to talk about," said Brace. Given the possibility of a life sentence, he said the negotiation process "was de-railed. Our hands were tied."

Braced recounted the story of one witness who didn't want to testify, but was arrested by police, brought to court, and forced to testify. 

"I ask you, who victimized her?" 

In arguing for a 10-year sentence, Brace also asked for remand credit at time-and-a-half, which would leave Boalag with two-and-a-half years left to serve.

Crown Prosecutor Trisha McCarthy who told the court her office had worked hard to avoid a trial, said Boalag should only get extra credit for time served for the period before his conviction on Aug. 2, 2016. 

Judge Pamela Goulding will hand down her sentencing decision on November 9.