WARNING: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
EDMONTON – A man who left a south Edmonton neighbourhood on edge after sexually assaulting several women was given a 12-year sentence Friday.
Mark Moriarty, 32, will spend another 10 years and 233 days behind bars because of time already served.
The sentencing came after he pleaded guilty in November to three assaults on women in the city’s southwest between June 2012 and June 2014, and to sexually assaulting five others while they slept.
One of the victims was a 14-year-old girl. Sgt. Jerrid Maze with the Edmonton Police Service, the initial detective on the Terwillegar Towne assaults case in 2014, said the young girl coming forward was instrumental in solving the case.
“Her bravery and her actions go above and beyond. I’m very proud of her actions,” Maze said Friday after the came down.
“She fought back. I commend her for that.”
Maze said he is happy with the judgement against Moriarty because it sends a strong message to the community that these types of actions will not be tolerated in society.
“I feel that there is satisfaction for the victims and the families and it sends a strong message to the community,” he said. “In these types of investigations, public safety is number one and we’re always looking out for the citizens of Edmonton.
“The city is now a safer place.”
On Friday morning, before the sentence was handed down, the court heard victim impact statements.
One woman called Moriarty a “master manipulator,” who she was concerned “will never be rehabilitated.”
Another victim said Moriarty “hurt me for his own pleasure.”
Crown prosecutor Tania Holland said “he’s all about control, sexual deviance and violence.”
The majority of assaults happened in the Terwillegar area.
In the first assault case, a 30-year-old woman was arriving home in Terwillegar after finishing work just before 4 a.m. As she reached into her car for her purse, Moriarty grabbed her in a choke hold.
She told police she thought she was going to die and fought back.
“[He] took me to the ground…choked me ’til I blacked out…then all I remember is him tearing my underwear off…ripped it right off me.”
The attack lasted three to four minutes before Moriarty ran to a nearby truck and drove away.
Police sent out several pleas to the public asking for information on who could be behind the crimes.
In December 2014, Moriarty was arrested and charged in separate investigations. Police got his DNA from a fork he used at a restaurant and linked Moriarty to the assaults.
“The DNA itself was pivotal,” Maze said.
Investigators also found a glove inside Moriarty’s home that matched a description given by one of the victims.
The Crown asked for a 14 to 15-and-a-half-year sentence for Moriarty.