Woman who was raped on Plenty of Fish’s first date is relieved her attacker was kicked out

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Woman who was raped on Plenty of Fish’s first date is relieved her attacker was kicked out



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Warning: this story contains graphical language and disturbing content.
A Regina woman who was sexually assaulted on a first date five years ago feels she can finally heal in peace, she said, after learning that the man who drove out of town and raped her was kicked out of Canada.

She is not disappointed that Gioulian Nikdima, 51, served only about a third of his three-year prison sentence for sexual assault causing bodily harm before being deported.

“I felt lighter,” said the 50-year-old we’ll call Kathy due to a publication ban that protects her identity. “I could breathe. There are tensions in my body that have disappeared. “

Kathy trembles as she recounts the traumatic and intimate details of the sexual assault, but she also describes how she feels stronger than ever. The single mom said she was determined to break free from the emotional shackles of being a ‘victim’.

She is speaking publicly for the first time to let others know that justice is possible – even though she sometimes doubted it.

“It was totally worth it. I was just in disbelief that my story was heard and I was one of the few who got to see justice, ”Kathy said in an interview with CBC News.

“Oh my God, am I going to die in this ditch?”

In March 2016, Kathy received a message from a man on the online dating app Plenty of Fish. He told her his name was John and that he was a divorced father and house painter from Greece who had moved to Canada several years earlier.

Gioulian Nikdima was born in Albania and spent most of his life in Greece before moving to Canada in 2013. Foreign nationals can be deported from Canada if they are found guilty of committing a serious crime that carries a penalty imprisonment for at least six months. (Gioulian Nikdima / Instagram)

After a week of texting online, they met at a cafe in South Regina, then headed to a restaurant in his vehicle. After lunch, as he was driving her to his vehicle, he suddenly turned south and chased her out of town.

“And then he said, ‘Well, we’ll just come down here and go for a walk. It’s a beautiful day, ”she said.

“He was literally that perfect gentleman. And then when he kissed and turned to me in the ditch, he acted like he was on to something or just crazy. It was a Jekyll and Hyde experience, ”she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, my God, am I going to die in this ditch?’ ”

He forced anal penetration, inflicting injuries. A nurse responsible for the sexual assault will later testify in court that it was one of the worst anal injuries she has ever seen in hundreds of medical exams.

Inspired by his daughter to report assault

At first, Kathy didn’t want to report the rape. She blamed herself for going to this meeting and felt embarrassed “not to have seen it coming”.

“I felt dirty. I just wanted to be out of my skin, ”she says.

At Gioulian Nikdima’s sentencing hearing, Kathy described her post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, nightmares and flashbacks since the sexual assault. It shook her sense of security, her self-confidence and her ability to form relationships. (Bonnie Allen / CBC)

But then she met her daughter and changed her mind.

“I was angry, he made me a victim… I had to prove [my daughter] I could always be the strong woman who raised her, ”she said.

When a police officer told her that there was little the police could do with just a man’s fake name from a dating profile, Kathy did her own detective work.

She took the profile picture of “John” from Plenty of Fish and did a reverse image search on Google for Nikdima and her phone number on a Kijiji advertisement for painting services. Kathy turned the information over to the police and Nidkima was arrested and charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm.

‘I’ve been to dark places’

Kathy said it was “difficult and painful” to remember every detail of the attack for years to testify at the Court of Queen’s Bench trial. She underwent intense cross-examination as to why she did not retaliate. Nikdima said in her own testimony that “she was so excited” and started it all.

“My only mistake in this case was meeting this woman,” he told the court.

At the end of 2019, Judge Fred Kovach found Nikdima guilty and sentenced him to three years in prison.

The relief Kathy felt was so overwhelming that she could barely stand or speak in the courtroom, she said.

“I went to dark places in my mind throughout the process. See him get up in court on that last day, handcuffed and escorted, and he couldn’t be a free person in Canada again. It was worth it. “

The sentencing decision meant Nikdima, a foreign national born in Albania and having spent most of his life in Greece, would likely be deported from Canada. Federal immigration law states that anyone who is not a citizen who commits a serious crime that carries a prison sentence of at least six months can be deported after serving their sentence.

Deportation

In March, Kathy was surprised to learn that Nikdima did not have to serve the full three-year sentence before being deported.

The Parole Board of Canada granted him day parole effective March 15. In a written decision, she told Nikdima that, according to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), “if you are released on bail or full, the deportation order will be immediately enforced. ”

Kathy received confirmation from the Correctional Service of Canada’s Victim Services Program that Nikdima had been placed in the custody of border officials on March 17 and removed from the country.

The CBSA said it was “unable to confirm or deny the removal” of Nikdima for confidentiality reasons. In an email, the Correctional Service of Canada told CBC News that Nikdima is still considered to be under their jurisdiction, even though he has been deported.

“When an individual is deported, his sentence in Canada continues to run until the expiration of the sentence. If such an offender returns to Canada before the expiry of his sentence, he could be re-incarcerated, ”the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan attorney general’s office appealed the three-year sentence, arguing that the sentence was too lenient. He is still awaiting a decision, according to the Justice Department.

After this woman was sexually assaulted on a first date by a man she had met online, she used her own computer skills to uncover the man’s true identity. She turned the information over to the police, who made an arrest. (Bonnie Allen / CBC)

Kathy thinks that deportation is the most appropriate punishment.

“He wanted to be a Canadian citizen and live in Canada and that is the greatest punishment. And he can never come back, ”said Kathy.

Kathy also doesn’t want his taxes spent on supervising him on parole.

Today, Kathy still struggles with anxiety, depression, nightmares and flashbacks. She said the sexual assault affected her sense of security, her self-confidence and her ability to form relationships. However, through counseling, she gained coping skills.

“I know I have a lot of healing to do, but I finally feel like I can,” she said. “Until everything is done and complete, there is still a part of me that was its victim. And I don’t feel that anymore.

“I finally feel that I can recover. “

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