B.C.’s Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)

B.C.’s Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)

‘Stereotypes’ not an issue in Langley sex assault ruling, Court of Appeal says

The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction in two attacks on a 17-year-old

WARNING: This story contains disturbing content

A Langley man who sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl tried to appeal on the grounds that he’d been “stereotyped,” but the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected his arguments in an April 15 ruling.

Dino Gordon Pastro was convicted of sexual assault, and making and possessing child pornography, two years ago, on April 1, 2019, for two incidents that took place in 2016 and 2017.

He was sentenced to four years for sexual assault, plus an additional three months for the child pornography charges, for a total of 51 months in jail, and was given 33 months credit for the time spent in custody awaiting trial.

Pastro claimed the judge made mistakes in the conviction on sexual assault and wanted a new trial.

In his ruling, Justice Gregory Fitch of the Court of Appeal wrote that at the time of the assaults, Pastro was divorced, living with his mother in a trailer in Langley, and was using drugs heavily.

The victim also had a history of drug use, and Pastro gave both her and her boyfriend cannabis, OxyContin, and Percocet.

Before long, the victim testified she was “craving more of them,” referring to the opioid pills.

“She said that on days she did not see the appellant [Pastro], she would experience acute symptoms of withdrawal,” Fitch wrote.

It was in this climate of drug dependence that Pastro would kiss and touch the victim whenever her boyfriend was out of the room. She testified she didn’t feel comfortable with it, and told Pastro that, but kept coming back “because of the drugs.”

Twice, Pastro had sex with her while she protested.

The victim testified that she felt ashamed and did not tell her boyfriend after the first incident, and was reluctant to tell anyone or go to the police.

“Dino knows a lot of people and I didn’t know what people would think of me if I told them ’cause I felt like I… I felt like it was my fault,” she testified in the original trial.

READ ALSO: Former B.C. youth pastor guilty of one count of sexual assault

The second incident took place several months later.

At the original trial, Pastro testified that the victim “teased” him and was “leading [him] on.”

However, the original judge did not find Pastro a credible witness at all, while he found that the victim was credible and did not try to embellish her testimony.

He also found it extremely unlikely that a 17-year-old would plausibly be so enamoured of a 49-year-old man that she would conspire with him – as Pastro claimed – to get her boyfriend out of the way so they could have sex.

Pastro’s appeal claimed that the original judge’s ruling was based on “stereotypes and unwarranted assumptions” rather than the specifics of the case.

However, the Crown prosecutor in the appeal argued that the judge was ruling on specifics – not that any 17-year-old would never be interested in sleeping with a 49-year-old, but that this particular 17-year-old had no interest in sleeping with this particular 49-year-old.

In his appeal ruling, Fitch noted that one reason stereotypes are consider a problem in sexual assault cases in general is that they have often been used against female victims.

“Historically, preconceived notions about behavioural expectations rooted in myths or stereotypic reasoning were used to unfairly discredit sexual assault complainants,” Fitch wrote.

But Fitch wrote that the judge based much of his ruling on testimony from the victim, who found Pastro’s attentions “creepy”, “weird”, “inappropriate” and “disgusting.”

In rejecting the appeal, the three judges of the Court of Appeal panel were unanimous.


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme CourtCourtLangleysexual assault

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Chilliwack Chiefs played their 2020-21 BCHL season finale Sunday against Prince George at the Chilliwack Coliseum. The junior A team will open 2021-22 with an American Hockey League team calling Abbotsford home. (Darren Francis photo)
Chilliwack Chiefs viewing Abbotsford AHL arrival as an opportunity

The junior A BCHL club hopes to strike up a friendly relationship with the unnamed Canucks affiliate

Trina Hunt’s remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Trina Hunt’s family appeals to killer to step forward after remains found in Hope

Cousins also ask Hope residents to think back to weekend Port Moody woman was in the area

Chilliwack real estate may finally be moving towards a buyers' market, according to the local real estate board. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack real estate sales forecast to see the highest increase in B.C. in 2021

BCREA second quarter forecast predicts 51.6% jump in sales this year, 20% rise in prices

Damian Dutrisac went missing while fishing the Fraser River on May 7, 2021. (Facebook/ Damian Dutrisac)
GoFundMe campaign started for missing Fraser fisherman

Anyone with ‘a boat, time, or a drone’ to search the Fraser on May 12 is being asked to help

...
Fraser Valley Bandits team with Fraser Health to encourage vaccination

Professional basketball team urges those qualified to receive shot to ease life back to normalcy

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read