Over the course of their three-month marriage in 2015, Rajinder Gupta repeatedly raped his wife, telling her to “just let the pain happen,” a court found Thursday.
Superior Court Justice James Diamond found Gupta guilty of four counts of sexual assault and one count of assault.
His parents, Sheela and Vinod Gupta, were both convicted of uttering death threats.
According to the decision, the complainant testified Sheela told her she “should be killed” for not making her son happy and that “these types of daughters-in-law should be killed” after a news story about a woman killed in India came on the television.
The complainant and her father testified Vinod said he would hang them and cut them to pieces during a bizarre dispute about living arrangements.
Sheela was also convicted of assault for slapping the complainant after the complainant made a phone call to her sister-in-law asking her to take her away from the Toronto home because of how she was being treated.
Although Diamond said he did not believe Gupta’s evidence, finding him to be “dismissive, nonchalant, aloof, arrogant and not genuine” with little interest in his wife and a “disconcerting and bordering on unsettling” lack of knowledge of her health challenges during their marriage, Diamond acquitted Gupta on six other counts of sexual assault and one count of assault, as well as one count of uttering a threat to cause death.
Diamond found the complainant, whose identity is under a publication ban, to be a credible witness and accepted her characterization of her marriage “as being controlled and dominated by (Gupta) and his parents.”
But while she “obviously (was) not expected to testify as if she kept a diary of every event that occurred in her three-month marriage,” he said, she was not always consistent or reliable in her description of some of the incidents that took place over the three months, leaving him with reasonable doubt on those charges.
The complainant testified with the assistance of a Punjabi interpreter, as did Rajinder and Sheela Gupta. Two Punjabi interpreters also translated Thursday’s verdict to the Guptas. A sentencing hearing is set for December.
Diamond specifically rejected an attempt by Gupta’s lawyer George Tsimiklis to portray the complainant as someone “motivated to leave her marriage to (Gupta) ‘with honour’ by fabricating her evidence so that she would still be looked like a ‘pure’ in her community.”
Diamond said no expert evidence was called on this point and both the complainant and her father testified this was not the case. He found the complainant held off reporting the sexual assaults for months in the hope that things would change.
Diamond also rejected the defence assertion that the complainant made up the “non-consummation” of her first marriage to support her request for a divorce — no evidence was presented and the issue was “clearly collateral,” he said.
According to Diamond’s ruling, the complainant and Gupta had an arranged marriage organized by their parents through the popular website shaadi.com. The wedding took place on April 15, 2013. The complainant went to the police on July 13, 2015.
The complainant moved into the Guptas’ home after the wedding and eventually got a job at a factory, although she would have preferred a job in the restaurant industry.
Gupta testified that he wanted his wife to work at a factory, rather than a Tim Hortons because she should have a job where “she has to work every single day and not have it easy … working hard means a factory job.” He also forbid her from wearing makeup to work because he did not “want her looking attractive when she was at work.”
The complainant’s allegations of sexual assault start from the wedding night. She testified Gupta raped her twice. The second time, she said, she told him it was even more painful than the first time and he responded: “don’t worry … let it happen … let the pain happen.”
Although Diamond acknowledged a decision to consent must be voluntary and made without the influence of force, threats or fear, he acquitted Gupta of sexual assault on this count due to concerns about the complainant’s reliability.
Gupta was convicted on two counts of sexual assault. Diamond found the complainant’s sincere and truthful testimony was enough to sufficiently support a conviction on this count. On another night, Gupta raped the complainant twice, telling her to “just let the pain happen.”
Gupta was also convicted of assault for grabbing the complainant by the neck and telling her to get out of the home.
However, he was acquitted of uttering a threat to cause death. Diamond found that Gupta telling the complainant during a fight that she could or should jump from a bridge as they crossed one driving home did not constitute an “actual threat to cause the complainant’s death.”