The former owner of a Burnaby, B.C., pub has been handed a nine-month conditional sentence after pleading guilty to sexual assault in a case that prompted criticism of the police from the convicted man's lawyer.
Fernando Manuel Alves, 46, had faced four charges of sexual assault and one charge of administering a noxious substance.
His arrest two years ago prompted police to warn the public about drink-spiking.
Alves ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault after the other assault charges and the administering charge were dismissed following a preliminary hearing.
It was revealed during the trial that in October 2006, a woman in her 30s woke up in Alves's bed, bruised and bleeding after an evening at a downtown Vancouver nightclub.
The married woman — who cannot be identified — said she had no recollection of meeting Alves the night before.
Medical testing confirmed she had had sexual intercourse and found traces of alcohol and sedatives in her system.
The woman told the court her will to live had been drained because of what happened to her and that she was unable to feel safe or to be intimate with her husband.
In sentencing, the B.C. provincial court judge said Alves was not pathologically dangerous but had committed a crime of opportunity.
The judge ordered that Alves be placed on the sex-offender registry for the next 20 years but that he not spend time in jail.
Oh isn't that special?
Now women who go to clubs, already wary of what sexual predators slip in their drinks, and who rarely remember much of what happened to them if they are drugged -- which means these crimes don't get reported -- can look forward to no justice at all.
Too many martinis and you get too close to a guy? You're giving him an ''opportunity.''
Fall asleep on the mostly-empty commuter train late at night? You're giving him an ''opportunity.''
Walk your dog through a deserted park? You're giving him an ''opportunity.''
And what enterprising rapist wouldn't seize the moment -- and everything else?
UPPITY WOMEN DATE (Aug. 19/08): Dammit Janet! continues on the case.
Louisa Russell believes at least four sexual assaults in Vancouver could have been prevented if Whistler police had adequately handled an earlier complaint involving the alleged rapist.
Russell, of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, said Fernando Manuel Alves of Burnaby, a pub owner and former vice-president of the B.C. Ball Hockey Association, was accused by a woman in Whistler in 2005 of raping her. But according to Russell the RCMP bungled the investigation and no charges were laid. She said the police interviewed the alleged victim while she was drunk, didn't get a sexual assault examiner to collect forensic evidence and didn't allow a woman's advocate to sit with the alleged victim when she gave police her testimony.
It goes on.