Saskatchewan man convicted of sexually assaulting woman denies act was nonconsensual

Saskatchewan man convicted of sexually assaulting woman denies act was nonconsensual
REGINA—A Regina man found guilty of brutally sexually assaulting a woman he met through the Plenty of Fish dating website says he did nothing wrong and refutes the victim’s version of what happened.

Gioulian Nikdima, who is 50, spoke Monday at his sentencing hearing following his September conviction at the conclusion of a judge-alone trial for sexual assault causing bodily harm.

A victim impact statement read in court on behalf of the woman detailed the fear and trauma she has dealt with since the March 2016 assault.

The Crown is seeking a five-year sentence based partly on the severity of the woman’s injuries, while the defence is asking for a three-year prison term.

Nikdima is originally from Greece and faces deportation because of his conviction.

The judge has given him two weeks to get his affairs in order before he is sentenced Dec. 18.

The prosecutor told the court that Nikdima has shown a lack of remorse. In asking for a three-year sentence, the defence noted Nikdima’s lack of prior convictions and the level of violence during the incident relative to similar cases.

The court had previously heard that the woman, who was 45 at the time of the assault, was attacked in a car after the pair left a Regina restaurant to go for a walk in a rural area.

During the trial’s closing arguments in June, the defence said the victim did not explicitly say she did not want to engage sexually with Nikdima.

Queen’s Bench Justice Fred Kovach was told the woman initiated intercourse through explicit language that made the act consensual.

The defence also cited Nikdima’s struggles with English as a second language as the reason for his inconsistent statements during two police interviews.

The Crown countered that the woman never said yes and that she felt she could not get away from Nikdima, fearing further harm would come to her if she tried to stop him.

Her victim impact statement said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and Nikdema being accountable for his actions would be a small step toward her emotional recovery.
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