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Iranian man convicted of sex assault of ex-girlfriend

BY KEITH FRASER, THE PROVINCE JUNE 11, 2015
A North Vancouver man has been convicted of assaulting and sexually assaulting his former girlfriend.

The pair, young adults of Iranian heritage, met in late 2012 and began a romantic relationship that the victim, who is only identified by the initials S.M. in a court ruling, described as being initially “generally satisfying and pleasant.”

But S.M. had some concerns about her boyfriend, only identified as M.H., because he was suspicious of her and tried to prevent her from socializing with her friends.

She testified that in May 2013, following a conversation, he slapped her twice across the face, causing a nose bleed and injuries to her lip and eye.

S.M. told the court that she didn’t want anyone in the Iranian community to know what had happened because nothing like that had ever happened to her before, she was an independent person and did not want to be seen to be a victim.

What’s more, she was an international student on a work visa, had no local family support and was unfamiliar with Canadian legal matters.

M.H. had permanent resident status in Canada and she did not want to create any drama for him, she testified.

After the slapping incident, she decided the relationship was over and tried to avoid M.H., but at the same time was frightened of him and did not want to make him angry, so she did not cut him off entirely.

One day he visited her but became angry when she got a text message, grabbing her phone and throwing it out the window of her 16th floor suite.

They went outside to look for the phone. As she continued to cry and yell at him, he pushed her and pulled her, calling her a whore.

Shocked and frightened, she didn’t call police, not wanting any drama.

She said she tried to avoid him but he showed up again at her apartment one night, telling her he was with his dog and could not go home and asking her if he could come in.

She let him in and during the course of his visit, she claims they had non-consensual sexual intercourse.

She did not report the incident to police, instead discussing it with a friend and the accused’s mother. She expressed fear and concern to the mother, who showed little, if any, reaction, she said.

The final incident between the pair saw him arrive at her apartment and knock loudly on the door. Looking through the peephole in the door, she was relieved it was not a “murderer” and let him in.

Later, they left the apartment and he grabbed her and pushed her into his car, despite the fact that she was struggling against him. He grabbed her purse and phone and drove to a nearby blind spot surrounded by trees.

She testified she was very frightened and said he got out of the car and opened her door. She tried to get her purse back but he held on. They struggled and her phone fell out and broke.

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