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

15:30  21 november  2019
15:30  21 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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My sense of normalcy has been ruptured." The woman learned of the man's history of sexual assault when Bono was treated at Montreal 's Jewish General Hospital and his case was handed over to - Adamo Bono's alleged harassment victim. The board, which is responsible for evaluating the danger

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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, is expected at the Montreal courthouse Thursday morning for his bail hearing. He's charged with criminal harassment. 

Last year around this time, he 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. 

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For years, students have filed sexual assault complaints under pseudonyms, which allow them to seek justice without shame or fear of being targeted. It said that its demands were in line with those of many other colleges and universities, and that it took all allegations of sexual assault seriously.

Anastasia Boldireff 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. 

"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." 

Boldireff 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. 

a person wearing a red shirt: Anastasia Boldireff, a PhD student at Concordia University, wants to know why her alleged harasser was allowed to return to society. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Anastasia Boldireff, a PhD student at Concordia University, wants to know why her alleged harasser was allowed to return to society.

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. 

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

He was accused of following a women 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. 

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.

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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

Boldireff is demanding more answers. 

"I would 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, Mark 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 Boldireff 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," Boldireff said. 

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

Boldireff 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. 

‘Can’t express how crucial it is’: SASS addresses sexual violence with action plan .
Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan have outlined an action plan to address sexual violence in the province. Zach Miller knows the importance of having a strong support system in place for sexual assault survivors.At age 10, Miller was abducted from his family’s farm in Whitewood, Sask. in 2006.Peter Whitmore held Miller and a 14-year-old boy from Manitoba captive at an abandoned farmhouse near Kipling – sexually assaulting them both.They were kept there for two days.

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