Article content continued
The Crown also argued Sulyma overemphasized mitigating factors, and failed to properly consider factors that argued for a longer sentence.
“The sentence is not proportionate to the moral gravity of the offences or the moral blameworthiness of the offender,” the notice of appeal states.
McKnight was tried on 13 counts of sexual assault stemming from his time as an Edmonton club promoter. He was convicted of five. All five women testified McKnight raped them after nights on the town, including at bars and night clubs where McKnight worked.
The Crown argued McKnight is a predator who plied women with drinks. They suggested Sulyma could find McKnight used or benefitted from some form of date rape drug, though no physical evidence of drugging was ever tendered. Sulyma ultimately found no evidence of drugging.
Dino Bottos, McKnight’s lawyer, argued McKnight’s actions were “not a serial, systemic attack on these women, but rather … five separate and independent sexual assaults” in which McKnight “simply went too far.”
The Crown asked for 22½ years in prison. Defence asked for five to nine.
Bottos was not immediately available for comment.
Sulyma deducted a further year for a 2016 assault McKnight suffered at the hands of another Edmonton Remand Centre inmate, accusing staff at the jail of putting his life at risk and engaging in a “coverup.” Thursday’s appeal makes no mention of that issue.