Mark Donlevy experienced things as a Canadian solider in Somalia in the early 1990s that turned "a man of action" into someone who used a sex addiction as a coping mechanism, defence lawyer Alan McIntyre said Wednesday.
Justice Brian Scherman heard the defence position on sentence — between 2 and 3 years — during argument at Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatoon. Scherman reserved his decision until Dec. 2.
Donlevy pleaded guilty earlier this year to six counts of sexually assaulting clients, all women, in his basement massage studio between 2009 and 2016.
Crown prosecutor Sheryl Fillo argued earlier for a 6½-year sentence.
McIntyre rejected the Crown sentencing recommendation as too harsh. He is asking for a sentence in the range of two or three years for his client.
McIntyre said that Donlevy, 51, accepts responsibility for what he did and is both remorseful and repentant.
McIntyre said the assaults "were, in the main, fleeting, touching cases" and were on the lower end of the sexual assault scale.
"Six-and-a-half years is excessive for offenses of this nature," he said.
Donlevy developed predatory pattern: Crown
In an earlier hearing, Fillo broke down the commonalities of the assaults. A common pattern emerged.
The women were trusting of him due to his background as a firefighter and a first aid course teacher. The majority of the assaults happened at Donlevy's home, where he had a dedicated space for his massage business.
Fillo related testimony from the victims describing his crude advances made while they were stripped and vulnerable.
"Haha, I'm groping your breasts," Donlevy said to one woman.
And to another, while digitally penetrating her vagina: "Just loosen up."
A forensic psychologist assessed Donlevy for treatment in February, 2017 at the request of Veterans Affairs.
D'Arcy Helmer said in court on Wednesday that Donlevy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and his symptoms included major depression, generalized anxiety, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sound and sex addiction.
McIntyre noted that, with this "constellation of problems," he could not be in a worse profession.
In closing, McIntyre said that Donlevy has committed to donating $6,000 — $1,000 for each victim — to the Saskatoon Sexual Assault Centre in the next 60 days.