Brossard man gets almost five years for acid attack on ex-girlfriend
Published Tuesday, December 16, 2014 11:12AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 16, 2014 4:52PM EST
Nikolas Stefanatos has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for tossing acid in the face of Tanya St-Arnauld, a sentence handed down in Longueuil court Tuesday morning.
Stefanatos has been incarcerated since the proceedings began in 2012, as a result he will be freed in April 2016, just 16 months from now.
St-Arnauld suffered acid burns to 19 per cent of her body in the attack, including on her head, face and neck.
Her story received international attention, and a U.S. talk show even paid for some of her treatments.
She endured several surgeries and expressed frustration with the brevity of the sentence.
“It's a step towards ending this horror story,” St-Arnauld told CTV Montreal at the courthouse following the verdict, adding, “It’s not much. In a year and a half he’ll be out walking about. It took me longer than that to get better. In 16 months he’ll look normal, he’ll be able to change his name and in 16 months I’ll still be scarred and walking around with this thing.”
Stefanatos will not be permitted to contact St-Arnauld or her family or come to within 500 metres of her.
St-Arnauld has since started a family with her boyfriend and is now the mother of a four-month-old son.
Stefanatos pleaded guilty last month to charges of aggravated assault on his ex-girlfriend. The judge took into account that Stefanatos expressed remorse but also noted that it was not his first conviction on domestic assault-related charges.
The assault took place August 26, 2012 in Longueuil, following a quarrel.
A dozen painful surgeries after the attack, St-Arnauld is visibly much improved, but still says she doesn't see her old self in the mirror.
“It's hard, but I feel a lot better. I know it's almost done. Every time I go through an operation, I know I have less and less to do. I know it's a step towards being over with everything,” she said.
Stefanatos read a letter of apology to the court following his guilty plea but St-Arnauld left the courtroom while he read it.
The judge took into account that Stefanatos showed remorse.
“In 16 months, he'll look normal, be able to change his name and I'll still be scarred and I'll still be with that same stigmatism even though I'm getting better,” said St-Arnauld.
The Crown and defence agree that while it may sound lenient, the sentence is not.
“As the judge said, the range is four to six years - six years being cases that are highly premeditated and four when there is a lack of a criminal record,” said Crown prosecutor Erin Kavanagh.
Following his release, Stephanatos will be on parole for 30 months and during that time will be required to attend AA meetings and keep 500 metres away from St-Arnauld and her family.
-With a file from The Canadian Press