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'Rape it was': Guilty verdict in York U sex assault case

Last Updated Jul 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm EDT

Warning to readers: The story contains graphic details and language


A Toronto man accused of sexually assaulting a fellow York University graduate student has been found guilty.

Mustafa Ururyar, 29, was convicted of forcing Mandi Gray, a PhD student with whom he was having a casual relationship, to perform oral sex and engage in sexual intercourse in the early hours of Jan. 31, 2015. She has waived her right to a publication ban on her name.

“I’m kind of taken aback by the judgment,” Gray said outside the Old City Hall courthouse on Thursday.

“I think that it is a huge victory in many, many ways in [that] I was believed. It’s really sad that the legal system is quite literally doing what it’s supposed to and we’re all shocked. I think that says a lot.”

Ururyar was accused of assaulting Gray in his bedroom after a night of drinking with friends at a pair of bars in downtown Toronto.

Gray, 27, testified that Ururyar had been verbally abusive to her that night, causing her to feel uncomfortable being in his company.

Ururyar pleaded not guilty, testifying that he and Gray had engaged in consensual sex that night.

He testified that Gray had been sexually aggressive the entire night, groping him at the bars and initiating sex even after Ururyar tried to break up with her once they got home.

Justice Marvin Zuker said in his decision that he rejected Ururyar’s testimony and called his narrative a total fabrication.

Zuker said Ururyar paints Gray as the aggressor, and that she sexually assaulted him by groping his leg twice.

“His version is without reality; it never never happened,” the judge said. “It begs credulity; it never happened, none of it.”

Ururyar testified that Gray couldn’t keep her hands off him and that she wanted a threesome. But the judge said it portrays a false picture.

Judge Zuker describes the accused’s version of the evening as an “obscene fabrication” and said Ururyar raped Gray. “Rape it was,” he said.

He said credibility is at issue and that he is not prepared to accept the testimony of the accused. On the other hand, Zuker said he finds the complainant’s testimony credible.

“I think it’s a massive statement but I mean these statements don’t un-rape me, first of all, or erase the process I’ve been through,” Gray said.

“I had the Toronto police tell me that I implied my consent. The Toronto police said I just drank too much, I shouldn’t have gone to his apartment. The detective called me on numerous occasions, trying to convince me to withdraw my statement [and] did not do any followup with any witnesses who could have discredited Mustafa’s story easily”

The justice also spoke at length about the legal definitions of sexual assault and consent before reading the verdict.

Consent means agreeing to what a person does, when they do it and the way in which they do it, Zuker told the court.

“Behavioural stereotypes should not impact the way we (perceive) the complainant,” he added, saying relationships or texts between an accused and accuser, delays in reporting sexual assaults or the absence of physical resistance during an assault cannot be taken as evidence of consent.

Gray has also launched a human-rights complaint against York, alleging the school’s sexual assault policy discriminates against women, who are most often victims. She said the policy lacks specific procedures for reporting assaults, forcing her to repeat her story to 12 staff members.

“I don’t know how York University is going to respond to this. So … while in a lot of ways I have some closure … my life just continues in shambles,” Gray said.


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At court on Thursday, the judge also recapped their testimony.

Gray had told the court that she met Ururyar at a student union get-together at Victory Cafe that January. As she was having her beer, Gray said he told her not to touch him in public because he had a girlfriend.

They then went to a another bar and Gray had three or four more beers. She didn’t recall seeing Ururyar drinking, but the judge said the accused had a few beers. They stayed until the bar closed around 2:30 a.m.

Since she had been drinking, she said she asked Ururyar if she could stay over at his place, but he said he wouldn’t sleep with her because he was sick. But then, Gray said his tone changed and he started to get angry. He called her a drunken embarrassment, needy and a derogatory name.

“I was really scared; I’d never seen this before,” Gray told the court. “I felt the threat of physical violence.

“He said this is the last time I’m going to f*** you and you are going to like it.”

She said she didn’t consent to sex, but was forced into oral sex and was then sexually assaulted by Ururyar.

“I just wanted to die at that moment; I just passed out” she said in her testimony. Gray said he tried to sexually assault her again when she woke up at 9 a.m. She then left, called her friend and texted him, “Last night was really f****d up.”

In her testimony, Gray told the court she went to get a rape kit that day.

During cross examination, Ururyar said there was no doubt in his mind that the sex was consensual. He said Gray texted him saying she wanted to have sex that night.

Ururyar said she rubbed his thighs on two occasions in the bar and on both occasions he told her to stop, saying it was not appropriate.

“She was rosy-cheeked and seemed to be having a good time,” he told the court and was not slurring her words.

“She tried to kiss me and I moved away. I told her I wanted to end the relationship [and that] we were not compatible … we should be friends.”

Ururyar said she started to cry and he tried to console her, but they ended up kissing. He said she then performed oral sex on him. They then had sexual intercourse.

During that time, he said there was no indication that she was unhappy or unresponsive. But then she looked angry and felt used.

The accused said he apologized to her the next morning for getting upset about the thigh groping.

Soon after the verdict, Gray released a statement on Facebook.

“I am tired of people talking to me like I won some sort of rape lottery because the legal system did what it is supposed to,” it reads.

“My experience is regarded as a demonstration of progress in sexual assault cases in Canada. I am expected to feel good because a few people within the system believe me. If we are told to be grateful for receiving the bare minimum, and that we should simply allow for social institutions to further oppress us and violate our rights, I am incredibly concerned.”

Read the court document below. The most compelling parts are between pages 129 and 179. If you are on mobile, click here to read it.

Mandi Gray court document

With files from Marianne Boucher