Edmonton

'Utter violation of the victims' dignity': Camrose man guilty of 3 sex assaults

An Alberta man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually assaulting three unconscious women and making video recordings of the attacks.

Bobby John Bell admits to assaulting 3 unconscious women and recording attacks

A Camrose man pleaded guilty Friday to sexually assaulting three women who lost consciousness in his home. He made recordings of the attacks which eventually led to his arrest. (CBC)

An Alberta man was sentenced Friday for sexually assaulting and videotaping on separate occasions three women who passed out in his home.

Camrose resident Bobby John Bell, 40, pleaded guilty in provincial court Friday to several charges in relation to the three attacks.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The assaults only came to light a year ago when another woman, an acquaintance of Bell, discovered a USB in his home containing video of him sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious.

She took the USB to police.

Bell pleaded guilty last year to attacking the initial woman and, on Friday, also pleaded guilty to assaulting the three other women.

He pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges, including sexual assault, voyeurism, and administering a noxious substance.

Bell's own lawyer called the attacks "a complete and utter violation of the victims' dignity, privacy and sexual integrity."

During sentencing arguments, Gordon Hatch told the court he could offer no mitigating circumstances related to the facts of the case, other than Bell's early guilty pleas.

Addressing the court, Bell admitted the assaults were "horrendous" and offered apologies to the court and his victims, none of whom were present.

A series of attacks

According to an agreed statement of facts, the initial victim met Bell through a mutual friend. She visited him in September 2017 at his Camrose home, where the two drank alcohol and consumed methamphetamine.

At some point, the woman passed out. 

A few months later, she returned to Bell's home and discovered the USB. She noted the USB also contained recordings of other women who appeared to be unconscious.

The woman took the USB to Camrose police, who obtained a search warrant to dig into all of its contents. They then started a search to identify the other victims.

The victims' faces were not shown in the videos and it took police several months to identify them.

A complete and utter violation of the victims' dignity, privacy and sexual integrity- Defence lawyer Gordon Hatch

In each case, Bell consumed drugs — including gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) — with the women, waited until they passed out, then sexually assaulted them, the agreed statement of facts said.

The assaults, all of which occurred in September 2017, were recorded.

'Unable to consent'

According to a medical expert who reviewed the videos, "[The women] were all unconscious while being sexually assaulted and filmed, therefore, unable to consent during the sexual assaults."

The conclusion was based "on all three victims' lack of physical or verbal reaction in response to the actions of Mr. Bell," stated the agreed statement of facts.

Hatch and Crown prosecutor Drew Gillespie presented a joint submission for the seven-year sentence, which was accepted by judge Peter Johnston.

Bell appeared in court via a video conference from a prison in B.C., where he is already serving a two-year sentence for his attack on the first woman. The seven-year sentence on the new charges will be served concurrently with the initial sentence.

now