Salah Eddine Laifa (photo below) faces four charges of sexual assault in connection with incidents at the southwest Calgary shopping centre – Chinook Centre Mall – on May 15. At the time, he was out on bail on three other charges, two of harassment and a mischief to property charge. But all Laifa is concerned with is what effect the charges may have on his bid for permanent residency in Canada.
Calgary Herald (h/t Marvin W) Laifa asked provincial court Judge Marian De Souza: “Your honour, can I ask a question,” said Laifa, as he appeared before De Souza remotely from the Calgary Remand Centre. “I recently applied for the PR, permanent resident, is this gonna affect it?” Laifa said. “
According to police, Laifa, who was working as a delivery driver entered the mall around 1 p.m. on Sunday. He allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while walking through the mall. He then stopped at a makeup counter and allegedly committed an indecent act in front of two employees there.
After he was asked to leave, police allege he approached a female security guard and asked for directions to the parkade. When they arrived at a secluded spot, police say the man assaulted the security guard. She radioed for help and other security guards were able to detain the man.
Duty counsel Bob Haslam told Judge Terry Semenuk that Laifa wishes to apply for bail. “I understand (the Crown) is seeking bail revocation on other matters,” Haslam said of Laifa, who was already on judicial interim release on outstanding charges when he was arrested at the shopping centre.
Laifa said he was hoping to be released right away. “To be honest, if I just get another chance I can go back to work and pay my bills,” he said. “That’s not the person I am. I am a better person. I can prove that if you just give me a chance.”
The judge said the best chance for that to happen is for the accused to get counsel. “These are serious charges. The Crown is objecting to your release. . . . You’ll be in the best position if you have representation for the next step in these proceedings.”
Crown prosecutor Melissa Kostiuk told court she is seeking to have Laifa detained on the new charges and have his bail revoked on the other matters.