Monday, July 09, 2007

Rapist declared dangerous offender

Karen Kleiss, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2007

EDMONTON - Russell Ominayak, who brutally raped a single mother and forced her seven-year-old son to watch and participate, was declared a dangerous offender Friday.

Known as the Duggan Rapist, Ominayak has effectively been handed a life sentence with no chance of parole and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

"Mr. Ominayak had an unfortunate upbringing, but that does not alter the reality of who he is," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Juliana Topolniski wrote in her 45-page judgment.

"(He is) a callous, mainly unempathetic, narcissistic, and remorseless individual with a well-entrenched set of antisocial values who is highly impulsive, blames others for almost all of his problems, and who has a long track record of irresponsibility."

Ominayak, who is 29, appeared to be mildly amused as the judge read her decision. At times, he shook his head in disagreement. At other times, he smiled.

He showed no emotion as the judge declared him a dangerous offender.

In 2005, a jury convicted Ominayak on eight charges related to the rape, including aggravated sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

Court heard that he had been drinking and smoking marijuana at a friend's townhouse before he crawled through a small window in a woman's Duggan neighbourhood townhouse on Aug. 22, 2002.

She had left the window open to air out cooking smells.

She woke to find a stranger standing in her hallway and screamed. Ominayak jumped on top of her, held a knife to her throat -- which he had taken from her kitchen -- and bit her neck and breasts.

Her seven-year-old son then awoke and tried to rescue his mother by beating Ominayak over the head with slippers.

For nearly an hour, Ominayak sexually assaulted the woman three times and forced the boy to watch and participate.

Ominayak then ordered the woman and her son into their van and took them to a bank. After he told the boy to go inside and use his mother's ATM card, the woman jumped out of the vehicle and ran for help. Ominayak was arrested almost a year later, on June 16, 2003, following two break-ins and an attempted carjacking on the south side.

"Mr. Ominayak's callous, alcohol- and drug-fuelled violation of their sense of security, their bodies, and their parent-child relationship can be described as nothing short of horrific, shocking, and abjectly brutal," Topolniski said.

"Intense psychological damage was inflicted by him."

Ominayak's victim said Friday she is happy with the judge's decision.

"He is where he deserves to be," the woman said of her attacker, adding she draws her strength from her family, friends and, most of all, from God.

The woman's therapist said justice has been served, which is necessary for her patient to move forward. She said the woman still suffers from flashbacks and struggles to cope with experiences that trigger her painful memories.

And she still has to lock up the kitchen knives before she can go to sleep.