A Concordia student says she was harassed by a man with a history of similar behaviour
Published Wednesday, November 20, 2019 7:31PM EST Last Updated Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:22AM EST
MONTREAL - A Concordia University student says she is concerned for her safety after alleging a 38-year-old man harassed her.
Anastasia Boldireff, who is currently completing her PhD at Concordia, alleges Adamo Bono, who has a history of similar behaviour, approached her as she crossed a street near the university's downtown campus last month.
"Basically, he was saying 'would you want to go on a date? I love your smile. You have a really pretty smile,'" she said. "When we got to the door, I said 'no, I'm not attracted to you,' and then he grabbed me."
She says she pulled away and left. A few days later, Boldireff claims Bono appeared at a coffee shop where she was meeting a friend. She says she tried to leave, but he blocked her path.
"I tried to exit to the door to the right; he would go to the right. I tried to move to the left; he moved to the left," she said. "He said 'I've been following you' ... and he said, 'you smiled at me, I want to see you smile under me.'"
Boldireff alleges Bono insisted she give him her phone number and grabbed her again. To de-escalate the situation, she says she agreed, instead, to take his phone number.
"He was smiling," she told CTV News. "He said, 'I've never met a woman like you. You're actually going to call me.' I said, 'OK, I'll call you. If you let go of my wrist, I'll call you.'"
After he left, she says she went to the police and gave them his phone number.
"[A police officer] told me that I should take better care of myself because the phone number and the name that I had given identified a man that was in the system with a previous offence," she said.
In 2017, Bono was arrested after a 24-year-old woman told police he followed her as she got off a city bus in Côte Saint-Luc, in Montreal's west end.
She told officers he grabbed her and dragged her into the woods and assaulted her. After police urged other potential victims to come forward, a second woman accused the 38-year-old of assault.
He was ultimately found not criminally responsible because of mental disorder. Bono spent four months at the Jewish General Hospital, but was released in March 2018.
After meeting with Boldireff, police arrested Bono again and charged him with two counts of harassment.
However, having learned that he had been found not criminally responsible for similar accusations in the past, the student says she's worried the judicial system may not protect her.
"I'm concerned for my safety," she insisted.
Criminal lawyer Andrew Barbacki admits the law tries to protect the public, but agrees it’s not foolproof.
“You can't keep people in jail indefinitely,” he said. “We live in an imperfect society. We see criminal offences committed all the time, unfortunately, and it's not possible to provide perfect safety for everybody.”
If convicted, Bono could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. He could also once again be found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.
Bono's bail hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
-- with files from CTV News' Rob Lurie.