Ethiopian Man found guilty of sexual assault

Former orderly who groped patient’s breast gets conditional sentence

Telling a one-time hospital orderly who groped a patient that being in Canada was a privilege and not a right, a judge sentenced an Ethiopian man to a six-month conditional sentence, including two months of house arrest.

Ontario Court Justice Robert Fournier made the comment before sentencing Tena Tesso, who was found guilty of sexual assault in January after groping the 24-year-old woman’s breast when she went to The Ottawa Hospital’s General campus complaining of stomach pains on Aug. 17, 2008.

Fournier noted that Tesso has had a hard and unstable life, but his breach of the woman’s trust was an aggravating factor.

Following the two months of house arrest, Tesso must abide by several conditions for the next four months, including a curfew. He was also placed on 12 months of probation, ordered to provide a DNA sample to the national databank and added to the sex offenders registry.

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The Crown strongly opposed a conditional sentence, arguing that allowing Tesso to serve his time in the community wasn’t a sentence the judge was allowed to give, since sexual assault is considered a serious personal-injury offence.

While Fournier acknowledged there were “some obstacles” to a conditional sentence, he ruled that its appropriateness depended on how he defines a serious personal-injury offence.

The Crown had been seeking four to six months in jail, while Tesso’s lawyer asked for the conditional sentence.

The sexual-assault conviction came after Fournier ruled Tesso’s credibility was hurt by his refusal to admit in court that the lightly clad, blond victim was attractive.

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Fournier found Tesso’s claims that he “has eyes only for his wife” when asked at trial if he found the victim attractive were deliberate attempts to avoid lending support to the woman’s accusations he was “preying” on her.

The woman, who had been working that night as a waitress and was wearing a short skirt and tank top, testified Tesso repeatedly visited her in an examination room before telling her she was beautiful and reaching into her shirt. He also brushed his hand against her thigh and buttocks.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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