Concordia student says man who harassed her took away her ‘sense of peace’

Adamo Bono was subject to conditions from a sexual assault case when he harassed PhD candidate Anastasia Boldireff.

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A Concordia University student who was criminally harassed by a man who had recently been found not criminally responsible in a sexual assault case said Monday that she still has concerns with how her complaint was handled by the Montreal police.

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Anastasia Boldireff made the comments after Adamo Bono, 40, of Côte-St-Luc, pleaded guilty at the Montreal courthouse to criminally harassing the Concordia University PhD candidate. Just months before Bono harassed Boldireff, he was ordered to follow conditions imposed on him by a mental health tribunal.

On Dec. 17, 2018, also at the Montreal courthouse, Bono was found not criminally responsible for sexual assault and forcible confinement. The charges involved how he sexually assaulted a woman he first approached on a city bus as it traveled along Van Horne Ave. The woman tried to ignore Bono, but when she got off the bus he followed her, forced her into a wooded area and sexually assaulted her.

The court ordered that Bono could remain free as long as he followed a series of conditions, including that he adhere to a curfew and any treatment prescribed by a team of mental-health experts who were seeing him. He was also required to be with a family member whenever he went outside.

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Adamo Bono pleaded guilty to the criminal harassment of Anastasia Boldireff in 2019.
Adamo Bono pleaded guilty to the criminal harassment of Anastasia Boldireff in 2019. Photo by Montreal police

On April 9, 2019, the Commission d’examen des troubles mentaux reviewed Bono’s case.

According to a written decision filed after the hearing, a doctor who was treating Bono at the time told the court: “(Bono’s) present condition is unfortunately not fully consistent with clinical improvement. In fact, he appears to have recently lost insight. He has stated to his social worker and myself that he was never ill, and therefore the law, as applied by the court order, does not apply to him.”

At the time, Bono was living with his parents but found the situation stressful. The decision details how Bono had recently pushed his mother from him and “the social worker has described the domestic situation as ‘an accident waiting to happen.’”

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The court ordered that Bono be allowed to reside at a location to be determined by the hospital where he was being treated.

Six months after that hearing, Bono approached Boldireff, at Ste-Catherine St. W. and Guy St., and told her he liked her clothes and her smile. She ignored him and walked away, but he followed her and asked her out on a date.

According to a joint statement of facts presented to Quebec Court Judge Flavia Longo on Monday, after Boldireff rejected Bono, he replied with: “How can we make that no a yes?” She then told Bono she was not interested in him.

Less than two weeks later, Boldireff was at a cafe when she noticed Bono was watching her from outside. According to the statement of facts, Bono happened to work inside the same building where the café was located and had spotted her “by chance.”

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“Mr. Bono told her he would not let her leave her until she gave him her phone number from her and that he would not stop her until she gave it to him. The document also describes how Boldireff agreed to give her Bono number if he would leave her alone. He proceeded to text her the same day.

Boldireff filed a complaint against Bono two days later.

“Since then, I have felt mocked, trivialized and not taken seriously,” Boldireff told Longo on Monday in court. She also said she left Montreal and has lived in five different cities since Bono was granted a conditional release in his current case.

“Beyond all, however, what Adamo Bono has taken from me is a sense of peace. Peace, like air, is something that we take for granted. We immediately know when they are both gone.”

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Boldireff has filed complaints with the police ethics commissioner and the Quebec Human Rights Commission against the police officers who handled her complaint. She alleges the police treated her with gender bias and initially didn’t take her seriously.

“One of the officers asked me to come back later, so the (human rights case) has to do with negligence,” Boldireff told the Montreal Gazette.

Defense lawyer Maya Amar told Longo that she and the Crown agreed to recommend a sentence Bono can serve in the community for a period of two years. The sentence would leave him with no criminal record if he succeeds in following a series of conditions. She said he currently resides at a resource center recommended by the Philippe-Pinel Institute that keeps him under surveillance and he is being treated by a psychologist and a psychiatrist. One of the conditions would be that he continues to reside at the same resource centre.

Having a criminal record, Amar said, “would hinder him from getting a spot in a (similar) resource center.”

Longo will deliver her decision on the sentence on April 20.

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