May 23, 2019 5:11 pm
Updated: May 23, 2019 5:37 pm

Ottawa man who beat pregnant girlfriend, sexually assaulted 13 women will stay in jail indefinitely

The Courthouse in Ottawa is shown on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
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An Ottawa man who brutally beat his pregnant girlfriend and sexually assaulted more than a dozen women he had secretly drugged will stay behind bars indefinitely.

Philip Wilson, 34, has been deemed a dangerous offender, a designation reserved for violent criminals and sexual predators who are considered likely to reoffend.

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READ MORE: Man charged with sexually assaulting woman who has developmental challenges: Ottawa police

When someone is labelled a dangerous offender, the court can impose a set sentence followed by long-term supervision in the community, or an indeterminate sentence.

In a decision released this month, Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland said a set sentence followed by supervision would not adequately protect the public from the risk of Wilson committing more violent crimes, particularly domestic abuse.

Wilson was convicted in 2017 of 39 offences including aggravated assault against his former girlfriend, as well as sexual assault and administering a stupefying drug to enable sexual assault against 13 other women.

Court documents say he was arrested and charged in 2015 after severely beating his girlfriend until she was unconscious, an attack that caused their nearly full-term baby to be stillborn. He has been in custody since his arrest.

Wilson had also hit his girlfriend on prior occasions, at one point dragging her down the stairs, throwing her onto the sidewalk and punching her in the ribs after he found her using his drugs, the documents say.

READ MORE: Ottawa man faces 17 charges in historical sex assault investigation: police

On another occasion, he grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against the wall after she walked into their apartment and found him with a semi-naked unconscious woman, they say.

Wilson, who admitted to trafficking several drugs and supplied them to his girlfriend, also drugged her without her consent on various occasions in order to sexually assault her, the decision says.

“The girlfriend’s testimony, which I accepted as credible, painted a picture of the accused as an arrogant, angry and volatile man who controlled every aspect of her life,” Hackland wrote.

“She was frequently locked out of their apartment as punishment for disobeying his rules, she was verbally and physically abused and he controlled her access to cocaine, to which she was desperately addicted. She was also coerced into enabling and sometimes assisting the accused’s ongoing sexual assaults against other women.”

The “horrific” sexual assaults all followed a similar pattern, Hackland wrote in his decision.

READ MORE: Ottawa police officer charged in alleged domestic assault incident

Wilson would meet women in bars and sometimes invite them back to his apartment afterwards, suggesting his girlfriend would also be there, the decision said. He would then slip GHB or ketamine into the drinks or cocaine he gave them, it said.

“His guests would then have virtually no recollection of events until hours later when they awoke, often undressed, feeling extremely hungover, with the accused’s girlfriend reassuring them and helping them clean up, get dressed and out of the apartment,” the judge wrote.

Wilson also surreptitiously took videos with his cellphone as he assaulted his victims, Hackland wrote.

Those videos were found on his phone during the investigation and show him sexually assaulting his victims “often in the most degrading fashion,” the judge said. Wilson also “clowns around and maintains a vulgar dialogue” in the videos, many of which he shared with his friends, Hackland said.

During trial, Wilson “conveyed little empathy for his victims,” Hackland wrote. “He clearly had no concept of the need for consent nor any concept of how date-rape drugs vitiate consent.”

READ MORE: Ottawa man faces 17 charges in historical sex assault investigation: police

A psychiatrist who assessed him found that based on the relevant metrics, Wilson is at a high risk to reoffend violently or sexually, according to the decision.

That, along with other factors, led the judge to conclude that imprisonment for an indeterminate period was the most appropriate sentence, the document said.

Those factors include the fact that Wilson was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, of which deceit and manipulation are central features; uncertainty regarding his willingness to participate in therapy; and the high likelihood that he would re-engage in drug culture on release.

“His skill at manipulating and controlling intimate partners, which is a primary risk with this offender, would provide a significant obstacle to effective supervision in the community,” the judge wrote.

“Any supervision regime dependent on the accused’s self-reporting or that of a domestic partner would likely be problematic and would put the domestic partner at high risk.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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