SANDY ZAITZEFF PLEADS GUILTY TO 4 CHARGES AND RECEIVES SENTENCE
WARNING: PROFANE LANGUAGE IN STORY
Appearing this morning, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Courtroom 303 before His Honour Justice Joseph Wilson is a 69-year-old Sandy Zaitzeff.
Zaitzeff is well dressed in black suit with dark red tie. He stands approx. 5’7” tall and looks very healthy for his age. He appears quite humble, sober and cognizant of his surroundings.
Crown Attorney is Marc Huneault and Defence lawyer is the infamous Scott Hutchinson from Toronto.
There are a few members of the public in the gallery, some supporters of Zaitzeff are present. Local media actually makes another extremely rare court appearance as well.
AGREEMENT TO PLEAD GUILTY TO 4 COUNTS
COUNT 6 ASSAULT CHARGE STAYED
REMAINING COUNTS WITHDRAWN
The court hears there is an agreement for SANDY ZAITZEFF to plead guilty to:
- 2 counts of assault
- 1 count of invitation to sexual touching person under 16
- 1 count unauthorized possession of firearm.
There is a publication ban in place to protect the identity of the victims. So I may be vague in some of my descriptions.
ASSAULT GUILTY PLEA ADMITTED FACTS
On the evening of October 15, 2016, between 11 pm and 2 am on October 16, 2016, Sandy Zaitzeff was at a residence in Shuniah and he was extremely intoxicated. There was a female present whom Sandy started calling names. He slapped her and pulled her hair. She suffered no injuries.
SECOND ASSAULT GUILTY PLEA ADMITTED FACTS
On the evening of October 19, 2016 at a home in Thunder Bay, there was a party with several guests at the residence. Sandy Zaitzeff was extremely intoxicated. Zaitzeff enters a room where a 15-year-old girl was sleeping.
The teen awoke to Sandy Zaitzeff standing over her and tugging on the bedcovers. He called her a ‘cunt’ and asked if she knew why she was a ‘cunt’. Then he slapped her once. The incident was captured on video by the teen with a cell phone.
A LONG NIGHT OF INEBRIATION AND INVITATION TO SEXUAL TOUCHING.
In the early morning hours of October 20, 2016, at 2:39 am in the morning, Zaitzeff is even more inebriated and an adult & the teen are barricaded in a room with chair up against the door and they have video recording on a laptop from inside the room. Zaitzeff can be heard pounding on the door and yelling.
Some of the phrases used:
- “Open the fucking door”
- “You want trouble, you’re going to get trouble”
- “You’re such a dumb fucking cunt”
- “Fuck off cunts”
- “Will you suck my cock now”
- “You will suck my cock now”
THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF OCTOBER 20,2016
The adult and teen are still in a room. The video recording on laptop continues. It’s 7:09 am. The video is 5-6 minutes. Zaitzeff is intoxicated outside the door again and can be heard saying
- “Open the fucking door”
- “My cock is 9 inches, you need to suck my fucking cock”
- “Truth is it’s probably 10 inches”
- “You will suck my cock, you will understand that I’m a good man”
- “It might not be right”
- “You should suck your boyfriend’s cock”
- “I want gorgeous pussy photos”
- “I want to eat pussy and fuck”
- “My cock is so fucking hard for you”
- “Tonight, You will suck it dry”
- “If you don’t want to, I’ll find someone else”
THE END OF A LONG DRUNK NIGHT
It’s 7:50 am and laptop video recording is still going in the room. Zaitzeff can be heard outside the door while an adult woman and teen woman are in the room. He is still very intoxicated.
- “You know you want your pussy licked, don’t deny it”
- “You have a delicious gorgeous pussy”
- “Wake up, wake up”
- “I will lick your pussy first. You’re a virgin”
- “I can never do that “
It’s 8:00 am. Zaitzeff can barely walk or talk.
- “I’m sorry, this is not how I normally am”
- “I’m about to have a fucking heart attack”
ADMITTED FACTS OF UNAUTHORIZED POSSESSION OF FIREARMS.
In late November 2016, Mayor Keith Hobbs and his wife were over at Zaitzeff’s home in Port Arthur. Zaitzeff had purchased the home of former local media mogul Fraser Dougall. There were 2 antique firearms hidden in an electrical utility closet that was registered to Dougall but left behind in the home. A double barrel shotgun estimated to be manufactured between 1908-1926. There was also a .308 semi-automatic manufactured between 1955-1960. The firearms are in poor condition and Zaitzeff does not have a licence to possess.
There was also 8 shotgun shells. Zaitzeff showed the guns to Hobbs and wondered how he could get rid of them since they weren’t his. Mayor Hobbs told Zaitzeff that he would help out.
MAYOR HOBBS GOES TO THUNDER BAY POLICE TO THROW ZAITZEFF UNDER THE BUS.
On November 20, 2016, at 8:10 pm, the TBPS execute a search warrant on Sandy Zaitzeff’s home. The firearms are seized and Zaitzeff is arrested. It’s alleged that Mayor Hobbs also obtained the video from October and brought to police. Zaitzeff was facing a total of nine charges spread over two indictments, which were both filed in court on Monday after he was arrested by Thunder Bay Police Services.
Zaitzeff was arrested and spent 2 days in jail
One of the indictments includes the sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and assault. That indictment alleges the charges stem from an incident that occurred the previous month.
FIRST RELEASE ON BAIL
On November 21, 2016, Sandy Zaitzeff was released on bail. There was an allegation of a minor breach on November 26, 2016, in the presence of TBPS officers. Zaitzeff was arrested and denied bail initially by a Justice of the Peace. A bail review application was submitted to have a bail hearing held in Superior Court before a Judge.
SECOND RELEASE ON BAIL
Sandy Zaitzeff was released from jail on very strict conditions on March 28, 2017, after a Superior Court Bail Review having spent 117 days in segregation at the Thunder Bay District Jail. He had sureties and was only allowed out with sureties from 11 am to 4 pm.
BELLWOOD ADDICTION TREATMENT REHAB
Zaitzeff attended this highly effective treatment program at Bellwood in Toronto after being released on bail. It’s often referred to as the Gold Standard of treatment. He successfully completed the program and received excellent reviews. He’s committed to long-term sobriety. He’s had no difficulty with alcohol since then.
BAIL CONDITION MODIFICATION IN JULY 2017
Zaitzeff returned to court to have his curfew modified to 8:30 am to 6 pm.
Both Crown and defence agree that no more jail time is required. They disagree on the length of probation. Defence wants 12 months. Crown wants 24 months.
Defence lawyer Scott Hutchinson submits to His Honour Justice Wilson that his client is ashamed of his actions and finds his behaviour abhorrent. He’s remorseful and contrite in the extreme.
This is a behaviour that will never be repeated. At 69 years of age, he has had no criminal record until today.
“I don’t want to paint him as a victim but I do want to paint him as an individual who is more than this bad behaviour” Hutchinson states.
Hutchinson submits that these events in this 4-day window of Zaitzeff’s life are outliers.
Zaitzeff wanted to formally apologize to his victims previous to today but was advised not to by his lawyer due to no contact order. An aggravating factor was the persistent behaviour over several hours and the age of the victim being under 18.
A mitigating factor is that he plead guilty and avoided a trial that would have stressed the victim and caused a considerable amount of resources to be used on triable issues.
The mandatory minimum sentence for sexual invitation is 90 days. He’s done 4 months of real time in the Thunder Bay Jail. The conditions there affected him adversely. Hutchinson says this isn’t the proper forum to debate the conditions at the jail but submits that the enhanced credit applies to give 6 months credit. “Call it what it is, the worst jail in Ontario,” Hutchinson tells the court.
He further submits that the very restrictive conditions of bail for 13 months needs to be considered towards credit. Justice Wilson will need to decide that.
Zaitzeff has no criminal record, he’s been a productive member of society and net contributor. He was born in China 69 years ago. He left China in 1951 and came to Thunder Bay in 1954. His father was a Doctor. He married Marilyn and graduated law school in 1973. He was called to The Bar in 1975.
He was the Chairman of the Brain Injury Service and a Director of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Also very active in the Bar Association. He’s been a supporter of bursaries for disabled students and general students having donated over 300 000$ of his own money. He was an individual without blemish.
His wife went missing in Seadoo incident in 2000 and his son died in kitchen accident in June 2014.
He’s the last living member of his family.
In 2015, he was diagnosed with traumatic grief condition and a doctor prescribed him Lorazepam. It had side effects of memory loss, irritability and restlessness. He turned to alcohol to self-medicate. He was drinking in excess of 40 ounces of liquor a day.
The submission is not that “the bottle did it” but he is highly intoxicated.
Zaitzeff was an innovative civil lawyer who had a successful law practice here and elsewhere. He took significant personal satisfaction from his work and used his skills to advance people’s rights. He was involved with the Clean Water Agency, the Dryden Air Crash, the Crown Ward lawsuit, the female RCMP class action suit and was counsel on the sewage treatment plant lawsuit.
It was the settlement of the RCMP lawsuit that caused various individuals to insert themselves in Sandy’s life knowing that a large legal payment of millions was coming his way. One of those individuals was Keith Hobbs.
Hutchinson references the allegation of extortion by Mayor Keith Hobbs and the insertion of Hobbs into Zaitzeff’s life.
Crown Huneault in submissions goes over some of the probation conditions he wants. He submits a victim impact statement from the teen.
But he concedes “We’ve gone all around it, but it’s proportionality. If 4 months in segregation isn’t enough to deter Zaitzeff than nothing will”.
SANDY ZAITZEFF ADDRESSES THE COURT
Justice Wilson asks Zaitzeff if he has anything to say.
“I am humiliated beyond belief, I have remorse. Everything that happened was grotesque to the extreme. I can’t even watch the video” Zaitzeff says looking very contrite and apologetic.
SENTENCING AFTER LUNCH.
Justice Wilson returns and begins to discuss Section 718 of the Criminal Code which covers the Principles of Sentencing.
His Honour Wilson rules that Zaitzeff gets 8 months credit for jail. The original 4 months enhanced at 1.5 ratio to 6 months. Plus he gets an extra 2 months credit for the 13 months of highly restrictive bail conditions.
That’s 8 months jail credit for the sexual invitation charge.
Zaitzeff receives a suspended sentence on the 2 assault charges.
On the unauthorized possession of a firearm, he receives a 500$ fine + 150$ victim surcharge.
And another 300$ victim surcharge fine on the remaining summary convictions. He’s given 90 days to pay his fines.
- He’s ordered to 15 months of probation with conditions to keep peace and be of good behaviour, no possession, purchase or consumption of alcohol.
- No contact with named victims.
- No weapons order for next 5 years
- Attend all counselling as ordered by probation
- 10 years on the Sex Offender Registry
- An order to submit DNA.
- The lawful owner of firearms (Fraser Dougall Estate) can collect them within next 60 days or they will be destroyed.
Zaitzeff gathers the paperwork from the court clerk then heads to the Probation Office to check in then downstairs to submit his DNA.
As he’s leaving the courthouse, I wish him well and he looks relieved to focus on the future as this is now in his past.
It’s not often I get to watch a lawyer of Scott Hutchinson’s calibre. An outstanding orator and jurist.
Other media outlets have reported his sentence wrongly and reported very few facts of the case.
Not sure what Dougall Media will do with the firearms. Maybe use them on their antique news show?
I learned a few things from watching this case.
I’m quite certain that Sandy Zaitzeff won’t be in Criminal Court ever again.
Watch who you hang around or drink alcohol with. They might just set you up to watch you fall.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY….NEVER, NEVER, EVER LET KEITH HOBBS INTO YOUR LIFE OR TO BE A MAYOR.
JUST DON’T DO IT !!!
More to come on Mayor Hobbs at a later date.