A Brampton man who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman while she was clearly too intoxicated to consent has fled to Pakistan before he could be sentenced.
Moazzam Tariq, 29, had been released on a $10,000 bail following his arrest in July 2015. He remained on bail following his conviction in October, and had surrendered his Canadian passport.
According to the Crown, Tariq used a second passport to travel to Pakistan.
Tariq’s disappearance was first revealed to the court on Dec. 1 when he failed to appear at the sentencing hearing.
At the hearing last week, Crown prosecutor Jill Witkin told the court Tariq’s father and surety said he had last spoken to Tariq on Nov. 24.
Tariq told him he was in Vancouver on business, but would return for his Dec. 1 court date.
Tariq’s bail conditions required him to reside with his surety and gave him a 10 p.m. curfew.
Tariq stopped returning his father’s calls and his father came to court on Nov. 24 to remove himself as a surety, court heard. A warrant for Tariq’s arrest was issued.
His lawyer Danielle Robitaille told the court it had been days since she last spoke to Tariq and that she did not expect him to appear in court.
Ontario Court Justice Mara Greene found that Tariq had absconded to avoid being sentenced and ordered that the sentencing hearing proceed without him.
Greene noted that there was no legal reason to have revoked Tariq’s bail following his conviction.
Robtaille was removed as Tariq’s lawyer at her request and did not make submissions.
The victim, whose identity is subject to a publication ban, and Tariq first met at a downtown Toronto club, and he immediately and repeatedly encouraged her to drink vodka.
When they left the club together 13 minutes later, she could barely walk, surveillance video shows. The last surveillance video from that night shows them in an elevator going up to a room at the Thompson Hotel.
Tariq was alert and upbeat, the victim appeared to be “very intoxicated, lethargic, and, at times, dazed,” Greene found.
“I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that (the victim) did not appreciate where she was or what she was doing,” Greene wrote in her decision. “(She) did not realize she could refuse to go with Mr. Tariq and say no to sexual intercourse.”
The Crown is still seeking a sentence of three years in prison, and a sentencing decision is expected later this month.