National News

B.C. dangerous offender loses sex-assault appeal

By Keven Drews, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A dangerous offender who posed as a gynecologist and convinced one victim to tattoo a name across her stomach has lost an appeal of several sexual-assault convictions in British Columbia's highest court.

Kolten Mastronardi was convicted in November 2006 on 12 counts of sexual assault, as well as other charges related to assault, threats, fraud and extortion. He was declared a dangerous offender in June 2012 and given an indeterminate sentence.

Mastronardi appealed four of the sexual-assault convictions, arguing the trial judge erred in law by convicting him of four counts for fraudulent gynecological examinations.

He also argued the trial judge shouldn't have dismissed an application to sever counts of fraud and extortion and one count of sexual assault from the other charges.

B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Daphne Smith, writing for the three-member panel, dismissed the appeal in a ruling posted online Thursday.

"Irrefutably his admitted non-consensual touching of their genitals necessarily violated their sexual integrity and constitutes a sexual assault," she said.

Smith also said it was irrelevant that the "examinations" were consistent with medical exams.

"A fraudulent skill cannot legitimize non-consensual sexual activity."

Smith said the trial judge did not err in principle or fail to consider relevant factors when dismissing Mastronardi's severance application. She said the trial judge fairly weighed the risk of prejudice and considered the interests of justice.

"In all of the circumstance, it cannot be said that the ruling resulted in an injustice," she wrote.

Smith's ruling laid bare the details of Mastronardi's "fantasy world."

She said with slight variations he presented himself as a member of a Sicilian family that was organized in a Mafia-like manner, a medical doctor and widower seeking a wife. Mastronardi also told his victims his family required submissive wives and the amalgamation of finances, said Smith.

Her ruling said he broke the nose of one victim, sexually assaulted her with the butt end of a knife, and convinced her to tattoo the sentence, "Property of Nicolo Mastronardi," across her stomach, and in large black letters.

Mastronardi also accused his victims of giving him sexually transmitted infections after examinations and false diagnoses.

Smith said Mastronardi extorted intercourse from a young naive foreign student by threatening to inform her parents and reporting "her 'crime' of 'sexual teasing' to the immigration authorities and have her deported."

Mastronardi also defrauded his victims of money and credit, and one lost as much as $55,000, said Smith.

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