“This is my first time in jail and it will be my last, I promise you,” Lulzim (Leon) Jakupaj told a Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court judge Wednesday afternoon.
“I truly feel sorry for those girls and whatever they have gone through,” Jakupaj told the court. “I’ve been working as hard as possible and I did learn my lessons and I’ve been trying to take any programs they can give me.”
Prosecutor Dana Sullivan argued for a prison term of between 2 ½ and three years and a lifetime sex offender registration for Jakupaj, whom she said abused a position of trust when he committed the assaults while on duty as a driver with City Wide Taxi. Both young women had relied on Jakupaj to get them home safely, she said.
“When Mr. Jakupaj was driving the cab, he was the person in control at all times,” Sullivan said. “He was in control of who to pick up and where they drove. He could choose who he wanted to be his victim, and he chose young women who were under the influence of alcohol.”
Sullivan told the judge, “We have to deter like-minded individuals, not only general members of the public but members of the public who are in similar positions of trust.”
Defence lawyer Amanda Summers argued for a total jail sentence of between six and 20 months, noting Jakupaj is seeing a psychiatrist and working as a garbage collector in prison.
Summers acknowledged the serious nature of Jakupaj’s crimes — and the need to send a message to the public to this effect — but said his assaults on the women would be considered on the lower end of the seriousness scale.
“Sexual assault could be anything from a kiss to full-on intercourse,” Summers said. “When someone hears sexual assault, they might automatically think intercourse. I just want to point out there’s a range.”
Jakupaj assaulted the first woman after picking her up downtown and driving her to her home in Paradise. After pulling into her driveway, he grabbed her by the back of the neck and forcibly kissed her, thrusting his tongue into her mouth. The woman, 24, pushed him away and got out of the car, and Jakupaj drove away.
He assaulted the other woman, 19, after driving her and a group of her friends home to Mount Pearl after a night out, then inviting himself in. The woman was coming out of a basement bathroom when Jakupaj pinned her against the wall, forcibly kissed her, pressed his forearm across her throat, touched her outside her clothes and pulled her pants partly down.
Jakupaj, who is a Canadian citizen but grew up in war-torn Kosovo, served as a child soldier for three years and came to Canada in 2007, Summers said. He had no criminal record until last spring, when he was convicted of breaking into a home after driving another female passenger in May 2016. He was sentenced to four years in jail as a result.
In that incident, Jakupaj had given a 22-year-old woman a ride to Kilbride from downtown. Minutes after she went inside the home, he followed her and was caught by her ex-boyfriend, who noticed him peeking in through the bedroom’s French door.
McGrath will sentence Jakupaj on the sexual assaults April 25.
PERTH, Australia (KGO) -- Police are investigating 5 cases of suspected child sexual abuse during "swinging" parties in Australia.
Police say some of the children were drugged and abused during sex-parties organized by several adults. The Western Australia Police Force posted the update on its Facebook page. "The Taskforce was launched last month following the discovery of a recording device by a member of the public which contained videos showing adults, both male and a female, engaging in sexual acts with the eight year old girl," said police in a statement.
Police allege those adults include the girl's mother, her step-father and a male friend of both. "So far, three people have been arrested on a total of 23 charges in relation to the alleged sexual abuse," said police. Authorities have searched six properties in Perth and Western Australia and expect to make more arrests.
CNN: At least five children, most under the age of 10, are suspected to have been allegedly sexually abused by a group of adults in Western Australia, police said Friday.
One eight-year-old girl was assaulted multiple times by a number of adults, including her mother, step-father and a family friend, according to police.
They have been arrested and charged with 23 counts related to the alleged sexual abuse, including sexual penetration and indecent dealing.