Tuesday, June 10, 1997

Gretchen Drummie

p. News 17.

Women's activists praise hooker-assault sentence

Attacker gets life

A thug, who beat a hooker into a six-week coma and left her for dead in a desolated field, has been jailed for life in a sentence hailed as historic by women's activists.

Hassan Jarrar, 25 showed no emotion as Justice John Hamilton jailed him yesterday for aggravated sex assault.

Jarrar picked up a prostitute on Jarvis St., on March 12, 1996, and drove her to the Cherry Beach/Unwin Ave. area, where he severely beat her and left her in a snowbank, court heard.

The bloodied woman lay there for nearly 10 hours and if not found by a passerby, it "would be a homicide," prosecutor Lisa Henderson said.

The woman was one degree away from dying of hypothermia and had a depressed skull fracture.

"Her skull was crushed... You left her to die. Your conduct was callous and vicious," Hamilton told Jarrar. "You are a dangerous person and some control must be kept on you... you will be sentenced for life for your cruel and savage attack."

Author and activist June Callwood applauded the judge. "This is an absolutely wonderful sentence," she said, adding the victim was treated "as a full-standing human being... At least there is no stigma, at least in this courtroom, for her profession. It's about time." Anastasia Kusyk of the Sex Workers Alliance said she also was "surprised and elated" the judge didn't take the victim's profession into consideration. "I've never seen a sentence like that. It signifies change."

The prosecutor said the woman was pummeled into a coma and had to learn again how to eat, talk, smile and even lick her lips. She has battled to a "remarkable recovery", but there are some lingering problems, Henderson said. "there seems to be a targetting or animus by Jarrar toward women who prostitute, "Henderson added. "It's a hate crime."

In an earlier attack on his sister. Henderson said, Jarrar cursed her as a "whore" and later was ordered by a judge to take counseling on the role of women in Canada. The prostitute, 21, -- now lives in another province -- wasn't in court yesterday but she testified at the trial.

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Created: August 20, 1998
Last modified: August 20, 1998

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