The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from a dangerous sexual offender who preyed on women by pretending he was a Sicilian gynecologist.
In 2006, fraud artist Kolten Mastronardi was convicted on 12 counts of sexually assaulting B.C. women that he had become romantically involved with in 2005.
He met them on Internet dating websites, fooled them into believing he was a doctor, and then performed vaginal examinations on them.
Mastronardi was also convicted of extortion and fraud. In 2012, he was declared a dangerous offender, which meant he could be jailed indefinitely.
The trial judge declared that Mastronardi "wove a fantastic and, at times, bizarre fantasy world into which he gradually but quickly submersed the complainants".
He appealed four sexual-assault convictions, claiming that nonconsensual vaginal examinations did not amount to sexual assault.
Mastronardi also appealed his convictions for fraud, extortion, and one particularly brutal sexual assault. His lawyer argued that the judge made a mistake by not severing those from the rest, which unduly influenced the jury.
A three-member B.C. Court of Appeal panel rejected his arguments.
Writing for the trio of judges, Justice Daphne Smith declared that Mastronardi "exploited each of the complainants in an effort to gain complete domination over their lives, and used his position to obtain money, sexual favours, and to perpetrate physical violence".
"The factual nexus of his offending conduct with all of the victims was evident in the common modus operandi he employed with each of them to garner their initial trust," Smith added. "The legal nexus with respect to the sexual assault and extortion charges was likely to be on issues surrounding consent, while the fraud charges all involved allegations of similar manipulative conduct that was likely to raise similar legal issues of deceit and deprivation."
Prior to his B.C. convictions, he had been jailed for physically abusing and defrauding seven Ontario women.