Montreal

Montreal woman demands answers after learning her alleged harasser has history of sexual assault

Less than a year after being found not criminally responsible on two counts of sexual assault, a Côte Saint-Luc man is back before the courts for allegedly harassing a Concordia University student. 

Adamo Bono, 38, back before the courts less than a year after conditional discharge from psychiatric ward

Adamo Bono, pictured here in a photo released by Montreal police in 2017, was found not criminally responsible of two sexual assaults. (Montreal police)

EDITORIAL UPDATE: Due to a legal issue, the identity of Adamo Bono's alleged harassment victim has been removed from this story.


Less than a year after being found not criminally responsible on two sexual assault charges, a Côte Saint-Luc man is back before the courts for allegedly harassing a Concordia University student. 

Adamo Bono, 38, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of criminal harassment. He was released from custody Friday, under a number of strict conditions. Those conditions cannot be described, as they are subject to a publication ban.

Last year around this time, Bono was before a judge on a totally separate case, in which he was accused of sexually assaulting two different people. In December 2018, Quebec Court Judge Flavia Longo found Bono not criminally responsible due to mental disorder. By March, he was walking the streets of Montreal again. 

A female Concordia University student told CBC she first encountered Bono this fall. She said the stranger followed and harassed her on two different occasions while she was walking near Concordia's downtown campus. 

Since then, she said, her life has ground to a halt. Just getting to and from campus is now terrifying. 

My sense of normalcy has been ruptured.- Adamo Bono's alleged harassment victim

"I have been too scared to go anywhere, except taking Ubers," she said. 

"I've asked people to come with me to go grocery shopping because a normal task like this scares me. My sense of normalcy has been ruptured." 

The woman learned of the man's history of sexual assault when she filed her complaint to police.

She said she feels the system failed to protect her.

Why was he discharged? 

Two years ago, Bono's photo and name were in the news after he was arrested on charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.

Police released the information because they believed there could be other victims.

He was accused of following a woman after she got off a city bus in Côte Saint-Luc, grabbing her, dragging her into a wooded area and sexually assaulting her. 

Judge Longo ultimately found he was not criminally responsible for that assault, as well as another, because of a mental disorder.

That means that while he committed the acts, he was not held criminally responsible. More specifics about his mental condition were not available in court records.

Bono was treated at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital and his case was handed over to Quebec's Review Board for Mental Disorders. 

I am lucky because I got away. What I'm wondering is how many other women didn't.- Adamo Bono's alleged harassment victim

The board, which is responsible for evaluating the danger that an accused poses to public safety, decided to let Bono leave the hospital in March 2019.

In its decision, the board concluded that Bono still posed "a significant risk to public safety." 

Because of those concerns, the board imposed four conditions: he was banned from contacting his victims, ordered to keep the peace, live in a place approved by the hospital, and follow recommendations from his medical treatment team.

By November, the 38-year-old had been arrested and charged with harassment. 

CBC reached out to the Review Board for Mental Disorders, but a spokesperson said the board does not comment on its decisions.

Fighting for legislative change

Bono's most recent alleged victim is demanding more answers. 

"I would like to know who signed the release and why. And I would like them to question their own area of expertise and to not let them be fooled by his charm," she said.

She has taken her fight beyond the courts to her local Member of Parliament, Marc Miller. 

She met with staff at Miller's office earlier this week to discuss legislative change to better protect victims of harassment and sexual assault. A member of the constituency office staff said they heard her out and would support her in any way they could.

"I think that in 2019 these things are preventable, and I think that they should be taken seriously by all levels and all steps in the process," she said. 

"I am lucky because I got away. What I'm wondering is how many other women didn't."

She said she refuses to be made a victim. 

CBC did reach out to Bono's defence lawyer for comment but they are not commenting on the case. 

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