Top News

Iranian student pleads guilty to kissing breast


ST. JOHN'S - A man who kissed a woman's breast on a Memorial University elevator has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Farhood Azarsina, 25, of Iran entered the plea Monday in provincial court.

He will be sentenced Thursday.

Azarsina, a PhD student in engineering, admitted kissing the top of the woman's breast while the two were on an elevator at the St. John's school on Sept. 27. He apologized on the stand, explaining he acted on impulse.

"Now I understand," he said. "I know I'm not allowed to touch. It was just a mistake."

Azarsina said he didn't realize the seriousness of the offence in this country.

"For sure, it was a terrible thing to do," Azarsina said in court. "Back home, if you do this, they slap you. And if the woman calls the police, the police slap you."

Azarsina has been banned from the university campus since the incident.

Azarsina was arrested shortly after the assault and taken to Royal Newfoundland Constabulary headquarters for questioning.

Videotape of that session was played in court. In it, Azarsina attempts to explain how he could commit such an offence. He said the woman was wearing a blouse, with cleavage showing.

"I would just say it's tempting," he said.

"It happens everywhere. Usually, I'm so good, I can control it. I do most of the time."

As the tape was playing, the victim rushed out of the courtroom, noticeably upset. The 20-year-old returned later to read her victim-impact statement, describing the negative effect the incident has had on her life.

Recent Stories