Content warning: descriptions of sexual violence.
U of T student Samuel Marrello has been sentenced to 12 months of probation and no jail time for the crime of assault causing bodily harm against a fellow U of T student.
Marrello was also charged with sexual assault, but was found not guilty of that charge in the verdict delivered on September 25.
Marrello was originally accused of hitting and sexually assaulting the complainant, who cannot be named due to a publication ban protecting her identity, while she was intermittently blacked out from intoxication and apparently could not consent to sex.
Following the verdict, the Crown sought a four-month jail sentence and 12 months of probation, while Marrello’s defence counsel sought a suspended sentence.
The incident occurred on April 1, 2017 and the trial began more than a year later on June 25, 2018.
The sentencing was handed down on February 4 by Justice C. Ann Nelson after a months-long deliberation process.
The complainant did not submit a victim impact statement, nor did she attend any of the sentencing dates.
In its arguments, the Crown called Marrello’s actions a “betrayal of trust” and a case of “gratuitous, demeaning violence.”
The Crown added that there is no indication that Marrello would not commit the same crime again, adding that he poses “some risk to future sexual partners.”
In court, Nelson read from her judgment that Marrello has already suffered collateral damage from the charges, including media coverage, online attacks, and relocation to Kingston after his roommates asked him to vacate their apartment.
She added that Marrello is a young man of otherwise good character, who is regarded as “intelligent, hardworking, and ambitious.”
Nelson said that his friends and family, many of whom were in court to support him, would provide a framework to prevent this from happening in the future.
Though the complainant’s “injuries were not insignificant” and Marrello’s actions were “reckless” and “opportunistic,” Nelson said that the “objective of rehabilitation remains large” and she thus found that a jail sentence was not appropriate.
Marrello will need to do 50 hours of community service during his probation, and have no contact with the complainant or attend any place where she might be, unless it is because they both study at U of T.
When asked if the university would be taking any action, U of T spokesperson Elizabeth Church wrote to The Varsity, “We can’t discuss the specifics of a particular case because of personal privacy.”
“In general, when we are aware of conditions imposed by the court, the university ensures that measures and steps are in place to support those conditions.”
According to the U of T Code of Student Conduct, which governs students’ behaviour, “No person shall otherwise assault another person, threaten any other person with bodily harm, or knowingly cause any other person to fear bodily harm.”
Marrello’s lawyer did not respond to The Varsity’s request for comment. The Crown declined to comment on the sentence.