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Man gets three years for 'vile, violent, degrading' sexual assault in CFB Esquimalt dorm

Hayden Chokrev-Evans’ violent attack on the woman he met on a dating app included choking, putting a pillow over her face and bashing her head into a wall
Justice Carla Forth wrote in her sentencing reasons that Hayden Chokrev-Evans did not acknowledge his guilt or express any remorse, and continues to maintain that he did nothing wrong.

• Warning: This story contains details of a violent ­sexual assault.

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for a violent sexual assault in his CFB Esquimalt dorm room that included strangling and suffocating a woman he met on a dating app.

Hayden Chokrev-Evans, who at the time of his pre-sentence report remained employed with the Royal Canadian Navy, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court following a five-day jury trial.

He was not being paid while on remand, according to reasons for sentence released Wednesday.

At issue for the jury was consent, which relied on the credibility of the victim, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, and the accused, Justice Carla Forth wrote in her sentencing reasons.

Chokrev-Evans and the woman met on Tinder and began to communicate online via social media and text messages, Forth wrote.

The two agreed to meet in Nanaimo on Oct. 11, 2022. They spent time together at a mall and a park and decided the woman would visit Chokrev-Evans in ­Victoria.

The woman was hopeful it was the start of a relationship, and Chokrev-Evans acknowledged he misled her into believing he, too, was interested in a long-term relationship, when all he wanted was “quick sex,” Forth wrote.

A few days later, the woman arrived at the Canadian Forces Base in Esquimalt and entered Chokrev-Evans’ dorm room.

The two watched three episodes of a Netflix series about American serial killer and sex offender Jeffrey Dahmer, before Chokrev-Evans said he was going to the gym to exercise.

When he returned, the woman asked him how his workout went. Instead of responding, he grabbed her by the shoulder or hands and forced her off his bed and onto her knees.

Chokrev-Evans hit the woman on both sides of the head until her vision went “black and blurry” and all she could hear was ringing, Forth wrote of the woman’s testimony. He put a hand around her throat and lifted her to her feet before throwing her on the bed and pulling down her pants.

Chokrev-Evans put a pillow over her face and pushed down on it. Feeling like she couldn’t breathe, the woman hit him to try to get a breath of air.

He then grabbed her hair and bashed her head into the wall. The woman testified that she felt like she was losing consciousness.

He admitted to the court he did not use a condom when he penetrated her.

The woman recalled seeing blood on the sheets. She testified that Chokrev-Evans said nothing during the attack and she felt unable to speak.

Forth noted “two disturbing events” occurred after the woman left. Chokrev-Evans agreed he showed a photo of the woman to a friend at lunch and then sent her a text saying: “It sucks u left my buddy wanted to hit it.”

He agreed the text referred to his friend wanting to have sex with the woman.

“I pause to comment that [the woman] is not an object to be offered by Mr. Chokrev-Evans to his friends for their sexual pleasure,” Forth wrote.

He also sent the woman an article about a woman who strangled and stabbed her Tinder date, which the woman took as a threat. Chokrev-Evans testified he sent the article because he thought it was funny.

“There was nothing humorous about the article,” Forth said.

After the assault, the woman had bruising on her neck and forearm and a lump on the back of her head. It hurt when she spoke and took effort to breathe and swallow. The bruising on her neck was so visible, she tried to hide it with makeup.

Two days after the assault, she went to work, where she broke down crying and was advised to go to the hospital. At the hospital, a rape kit was taken. The woman reported what happened to the police.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by the Crown, the woman said she is not the same person she was before the assault.

“She became depressed, felt isolated, and felt disgusted every time she looked in the mirror. She lost weight since she could not eat.”

The woman began to self-harm and has needed counselling and medication to cope with the trauma, the court documents say. She is afraid when alone at night and struggles to trust people.

In finding Chokrev-Evans guilty of sexual assault while choking, suffocating or strangling, the jury rejected his claim that the woman consented to the sexual activity.

When asked to explain the discrepancy between his version of events and the victim’s, he said “he heard in court that the victim was bi-polar and that it was ‘maybe real in her head.’ ”

In sentencing Chokrev-Evans, Forth considered several aggravating factors, including that the assault was a violent violation of the woman’s sexual, emotional and physical integrity, the sexual acts were committed without a condom, exposing the woman to potential sexually transmitted infections, the attack “was filled with violence,” and the victim feared for her life.

Mitigating factors included that Chokrev-Evans is young, hard working, was at the time of trial in the Canadian Armed Forces and had no previous criminal record, Forth wrote. He was hired as a marine technician engineering roundsperson at CFB Esquimalt.

Forth called Chokrev-Evans’ acts “vile, violent, degrading and harmful to the victim.”

He was predatory and manipulated the victim into coming to his residence to be sexually assaulted, showing no restraint in the pursuit of his own sexual gratification, she wrote.

Chokrev-Evans did not acknowledge his guilt or express any remorse, and Forth questioned the possibility of his rehabilitation.

“I am concerned that Mr. Chokrev-Evans has little prospect of rehabilitation as he has shown a total lack of understanding of the impact or seriousness of his behaviour. Throughout his interactions with [the victim], he showed a complete lack of respect for her as an individual. He continues to maintain that he did nothing wrong and has, in his words, “no feelings,” for what happened. He does not believe he needs any counselling,” Forth wrote.

Asked what steps he has taken to ensure he would not commit a similar offence in the future, he said he “will stop having sexual interactions with people that he is not attracted to.”

His view that he will stick to dating his “preferred blonde haired and skinny women” indicates “he lacks all insight on how to avoid such a situation in the future,” Forth wrote.

Chokrev-Evans has been in custody since Feb. 21, 2024.

The Department of National Defence said Thursday that Chokrev-Evans is no longer a member of the Canadian Armed Forces as of May 15.

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