Paralegal jailed for sex attack
3 YEARS FOR USING IMMIGRATION CLIENT AS SEX SLAVE
Sat, August 14, 2004
TORONTO PARALEGAL Hugo Avendano, who with his wife used a client as a sex slave in marathon trysts at a downtown hotel, was imprisoned for three years yesterday. Martha Avendano was spared jail time for her part in the two Sheraton Hotel sex assaults and will serve a conditional sentence in the community of two years less a day.
Court heard the couple repeatedly sexually assaulted the victim on two separate occasions in the fall of 2001.
Justice Harry LaForme found they were both culpable, but that Hugo bore more responsibility.
Hugo, 40, and Martha, 42, were each convicted of two sex assault charges arising from acts on Sept. 14 and 23, 2001. They have moved from Toronto to Hamilton, court was told.
Court heard that Hugo was an immigration consultant and Martha worked with him. The victim was a client who testified she complied with their wishes as she believed he was "powerful" and could send her back where she came from. He was handling her refugee claim and the allegations came to light after she failed in a suicide bid.
LaForme said the Avendanos took advantage of the fact the victim was new here and a "captive to their dictates and wishes." He added the sex acts were "no mere touching."
Prosecutor Rick Nathanson said the actual assaults were "extremely invasive and degrading." He said the incidents were premeditated and included "props" such as lingerie.
Defence lawyer Howard Borenstein said the couple have no prior criminal records and they continue to profess innocence.