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Ottawa man who raped two women sentenced to more than five years in prison

An Ottawa man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for sexually assaulting two women, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic it's unclear when he'll be put behind bars.

Hussein Ali Kelkas, 33, was found guilty in March of three counts of sexual assault involving two women, whose identities are protected under a publication ban.

Court documents show one complainant, who was a college student at the time, met Kelkas in 2014 after he replied to her ad about renting out a room in her townhouse.

Documents show that after spending time together on a few occasions, he sexually assaulted her in her bedroom, forcing her to have sex without her consent.

The second complainant agreed to go out with Kelkas a few times after he messaged her on Facebook in 2016, and he sexually assaulted her in his car on two occasions. She was 18 at the time.

In a decision released last week, Ontario Superior Court Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin said Kelkas's actions were "very serious in nature" and have "deeply psychologically and physically affected" the complainants, now 26 and 22.

"Mr. Kelkas intimidated both complainants and they felt scared when they were sexually assaulted by him. He was aggressive and threatening during the sexual assaults," the judge wrote.

"Mr. Kelkas is still a relatively young man. I hope that with some assistance ... he will gain insight into his unacceptable behaviours towards women and return to the community in better stead," she wrote.

O'Bonsawin accepted the Crown and defence's joint submission of 5 1/2 years of imprisonment, minus 32 days for the time he spent in custody while awaiting his sentence.

The defence asked that Kelkas be allowed to turn himself in at the end of July due to the impact of the pandemic on the correctional system, but the ruling said prison staff are unsure if they can accept him at that time.

As a result, the judge wrote, Kelkas cannot turn himself in then. His case will return to court on Aug. 24 for an update and to determine the next steps.

Both complainants previously gave statements on how the sexual assaults affected them, which were read by the Crown during Kelkas's sentencing hearing.

One described turning to drinking and other unhealthy behaviours after being attacked in her own home, and said the medications for sexually transmitted infections she was given after her forensic exam made her ill, court documents say.

The sexual assault forced her to cancel her dental board certification exams, which cost her money, and she lost wages due to her delayed entry into the workforce, the documents say.

"It has echoes in my life like a large stone thrown into a pond, rippling outward and outward: the waves of it have affected me emotionally, physically, economically and psychologically, time after time," the woman said, according to the documents.

The second complainant, who was a virgin when Kelkas sexually assaulted her, told the court the attacks stole "almost every special moment" in her life.

"You have ruined and affected my growth and time after high school," she wrote, noting she suffered from paralyzing anxiety and was confused for years.

At trial, the first complainant testified she met up with Kelkas for coffee a few times after showing him the room for rent. Their relationship progressed to the point where they would make out, court documents say.

One night in June 2014, she had him over at her home and they started kissing on the sofa, she said. He asked to go upstairs and she eventually agreed, thinking it would be more private, she told the court.

CAUTION: The following contains details some readers may find disturbing.

Once in her room, Kelkas closed the door and forced the complainant to have sex with him, even though she objected and tried to cover her genitals with her hand, the documents say she testified.

The second complainant said Kelkas reached out to her in January 2016 and he eventually asked her out for coffee.

A few weeks later they drove down to a park and beach area and sat in the parking lot, she said, and things got physical after their conversation dwindled. While that was initially consensual, when he took her pants down she told him she did not want to have any kind of sex, documents say she testified.

She told the court he forced her to have anal sex and she "tried to fight him off without success," according to documents. She was in shock and couldn't process what had happened as he drove her home, she said.

The next day, court heard, Kelkas kept bringing up that he was a single dad. The complainant testified that she thought he had made a mistake, so she agreed to eventually go on another date.

But when he picked her up that time he drove to a storage centre area and forced her to have vaginal sex, she said.

The complainant was in pain for several days afterwards and couldn't grapple with what had happened, she said.

A few days later, she told her parents what happened, and she went to the hospital with her mother in early February.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 27, 2020.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

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