Mark Donlevy, found guilty of sexual assault, developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from his military service and aggravated by a controversial drug, according to his lawyer.
The details emerged during sentencing arguments for the 49-year-old former registered massage therapist from Saskatoon.
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Donlevy was deployed to Somalia as a member of the Canadian military in 1992 when he took an anti-malaria drug.
Without naming the drug, defence lawyer Alan McIntyre said it’s one “which the government did not test appropriately, which can cause or exacerbate post-traumatic stress disorder.”
The drug, called mefloquine, has been widely scrutinized for negative neurological and psychological side effects suffered by Canadian veterans.
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Upon his return to Saskatoon, Donlevy worked as a firefighter with the Saskatoon Fire Department and the Department of National Defence. He was also employed as an emergency medical technician.
“He has served his country and his community actively,” McIntyre said.
In the summer of 2004, Mark Donlevy met with a woman, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban.
After getting together for coffee, they went mini-golfing, to a drive-in movie and for drinks at a night club.
In September, Justice Heather MacMillan-Brown found Donlevy guilty of sexually assaulting the woman while she was intoxicated at a home later that night.
His lawyer told court Friday that he asked his client “how he would best characterize his view of matters.”
“He used the word ‘remorseful,'” McIntyre said.
During sentencing arguments Friday, Crown prosecutor Cory Bliss called the act a “gross violation” of the woman’s “sexual integrity and personal choice.”
The Crown argued for a three-and-a-half year sentence, while the defence sought three years in prison.
The judge is scheduled to deliver her decision Nov. 15.
Donlevy still faces 11 other counts of sexual assault alleged to have happened during his work as a massage therapist in Saskatoon.
The charges spanning 13 years are expected to go trial at a later day.
– With files from Adam MacVicar