Mustafa Ururyar, convicted in sex assault of Mandi Gray, gets 18-month sentence

The York University PhD student convicted of sexually assaulting another graduate student was sentenced to the 18-month maximum requested by the Crown.

York PhD student's defence team had asked for a conditional sentence, no jail time

Mustafa Ururyar was convicted of sexually assaulting Mandi Gray in July, his sentencing hearing started today. (Mike Heenan/CBC)

The York University PhD student convicted of sexually assaulting another graduate student was sentenced to the 18-month maximum requested by the Crown.

The sentencing hearing for Mustafa Ururyar began in Toronto this morning after he was found guilty in July of forcing Mandi Gray to perform oral sex and engage in sexual intercourse.

"In cases of rape, there is little room in the sentencing process for mercy," Justice Marvin Zuker said in delivering his decision. "Rape is not an accident."

The defence had argued that Ururyar should receive a conditional sentence, which would have meant he would not have spent any time in jail as long as he abided by the court's conditions.

Zuker, however, sided with the Crown, rebuking Ururyar in his decision as he sentenced him to an additional three years probation and 240 hours of community service. 

The crime of sexual assault is one of the most damaging to its victims, the judge said, "perhaps second only to murder in its severity."

"Those who commit the crime of rape must understand they do so at their peril," Zuker said.

Ururyar was brought into custody for Wednesday's hearing after a Superior Court judge granted the defence's request for bail last month, days after his bail was revoked by Zuker.

"This man raped Mandi Gray. Why should he not come into custody today?" Zuker said in revoking Ururyar's bail. "He's not the victim here."

In his appeal to the judge Wednesday, the Crown said that Ururyar's sentence should focus not only on his actions but also consider the necessity of deterring others. The Crown also referred to Gray's victim impact statement as "remarkable" as it's focused not on her personal pain, but on the larger impact of sexual assault.​

Victim impact

In her statement, Gray said she did not want to describe her physical or psychological pain since the sexual assault on Jan. 31, 2015; instead, she submitted an invoice of the 36 psychotherapy appointments, alongside another 20 sessions at the Women's College Hospital sexual assault program. 

"Most problematic is that due to the ongoing and discriminatory cross-examination resulting in emotional distress, [my lawyer] had to write a letter to the Crown and defence counsel to remind [the defence] of courtroom ethics and the law in sexual assault cases," Gray's victim impact statement reads. "Victims should not be required to pay (emotionally or financially) for the failure of the courts to respect the ethics and legal protections of victim/witnesses."

Zuker ordered Ururyar to pay $8,000 toward Gray's legal fees as well as a victim's fine surcharge.

"Ururyar made Mandi Gray a victim but he also made her a survivor," the judge said.

​The defence has already filed an appeal of Ururyar's conviction. His lawyer told reporters she also plans to file an application for bail tomorrow until that appeal can be heard. 

With files from Linda Ward, Nicole Brockbank and Laura Fraser