A New Brunswick man has been declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to an indefinite prison term for a violent sexual assault against a Dartmouth woman.
James Joseph Martin, 48, was sentenced in Nova Scotia provincial court in Dartmouth on Monday. He had pleaded guilty in May 2010 to several charges including sexual assault, assault and uttering threats — all relating to an incident in May 2009.
'I'm not a victim, I'm a survivor of rape and assault. And I'm very proud of everything that I have done for women across the Atlantic provinces, as well as Canada, and for every other daughter that has to see her mother go through this.' - One of Martin's victims told the court
The court was told that Martin straddled the woman, pinning her down and questioning her. He wrapped an arm around her neck and threatened to break her jaw if she resisted. He smashed her head against a wall, stole her car keys and then stole her car, the court heard.
Martin was under a long-term supervision order at the time of the attack. The supervision order stemmed from an earlier attack on a New Brunswick woman in 2000.
Regarding that attack, the court was told he slammed the victim's head into a wall, then duct-taped her wrists and tied her up with an electrical cord. He repeatedly sexually assaulted her, threatened to burn her and punched and kneed her. She eventually managed to alert a relative who called police.
In assessing Martin prior to his release, the National Parole Board wrote: "The number of incidents of inappropriate behaviours supports the board's opinion that you have difficulty controlling your sexual impulses to the point where serious harm could occur."
The victim of Martin's attack in New Brunswick in 2000 testified at his dangerous offender hearing earlier this summer. She also returned to court on Monday to hear the verdict.
"I am quite satisfied with the decision," she told CBC News outside of court. "It's something that I've been waiting for for 14 and ½ years."
The woman broke down sobbing when Crown attorneys explained to her that Martin had been declared a dangerous offender.
"I'II have worked really hard to put this man where he belongs so that other women can feel safe," she said.
'He knows that he's a monster'
In a decision spanning more than 4 ½ hours, Judge Frank Hoskins said a dangerous offender designation is meant to protect the public.
"I have no confidence there will be any particular time period that Mr. Martin will be able to function in the community," Judge Hoskins said.
He said any talk of Martin being rehabilitated any time soon is "speculative hope" and "simply not good enough."
The New Brunswick woman said she was glad to participate in the sentencing.
"I felt like it was my chance to put a voice to a person — not a victim, but to a survivor's voice. Because I'm not a victim, I'm a survivor of rape and assault," she said. "And I'm very proud of everything that I have done for women across the Atlantic provinces, as well as Canada, and for every other daughter that has to see her mother go through this."
The woman said Martin appeared to her to be sleeping while his fate was being decided. "He knows that he's a monster and he knows that he's where he belongs and where he deserves to be," she said.
She hugged the prosecutors and the three women who'd travelled with her from New Brunswick to witness the sentencing.
"I feel ecstatic," she said. "I have my closure now. I can proceed to the last part of my healing, which was making sure that he doesn't do this again to anybody else. I've done my part. I'm really proud of myself."
In addition to the dangerous offender designation, Martin's name will be on the national sex offender registry for the rest of his life. His DNA will also be on file.
He can start applying for parole in a few years, but Judge Hoskins said Martin must demonstrate he has changed before he is likely to be released.