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Desharnais handed six-year sentence

After brutally choking, binding and sexually assaulting a sex trade worker, a Red Deer man faces four years in jail.

Nathan Michael Desharnais, 25, was sentenced to six years on Friday morning in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench by Justice Adam Germain. Taking into account almost two years of pre-trial custody, he has another four years to serve on the conviction.

Desharnais was convicted on Thursday on one count each of aggravated sexual assault, choking with intent to overcome resistance and forcible confinement.

Desharnais had met the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court-ordered publication ban protecting the names of sexual assault victims, through a Craiglist classified website ad that the woman had posted. Through emails and text messages, they agreed to meet for sex in exchange for money, with the woman to receive $150 for her services.

They had consensual sex during the evening of June 3, 2012, but no money was exchanged. The woman returned the following afternoon to collect and the two had consensual sex a second time.

It was when she was getting up to leave after the second time that the sex assault happened. The woman was grabbed by the arms and forced down on the bed. Desharnais held her face down on a pillow, put his knee in her back and tied her hands. Then he turned her over and started choking her. As the woman lost and regained consciousness, she found duct tape covering her mouth. When it began to come off, Desharnais wrapped the tape around her head from her chin to her nose, all the while sexually assaulting her.

When she came to and Desharnais was finished, the woman said he told her: “I just wanted to know what it feels like to rape somebody.”

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