CALGARY — A defence lawyer says the world has always been pitted against two brothers with fetal alcohol syndrome who repeatedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl they randomly abducted at a bus stop.
Sentencing arguments concluded Thursday for Cody and Corey Manyshots, who pleaded guilty two years ago to kidnapping, uttering threats, sexual assault and robbery.
Court heard the brothers, both in their 20s, have poor cognitive function, low intelligence and mental-health issues. But that was not enough for the defence to argue they were not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.
"These two men fell through the cracks of life," Alain Hepner, Cody's lawyer, told the court. "They didn't stand a chance from the minute they were born."
The pair approached a 17-year-old girl at a northeast Calgary bus stop in November 2014, forced her into an alley and sexually assaulted her.
They then abducted the Grade 12 student and took her to their home, where they sexually assaulted her another 15 times until she was able to escape about eight hours later when they fell asleep.
Excerpts from reports read in court suggested the brothers need to live in a structured, supervised environment to ensure their well-being and the safety of others.
While a penitentiary would provide that sort of setting, everyone agreed putting the brothers behind bars indefinitely is not an option.
There was discussion of what support might be available to the men after their prison terms conclude.
"What more of a disability could an accused have?" provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk asked. "I've never seen a case like this."
Semenuk is to deliver a sentence Jan. 26.
Hepner proposed about nine years in prison for his client, taking into account time already in custody.
The lawyer said there is no treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome, but he hoped there is a way the brothers can get the resources they need to lead meaningful lives once their sentences end.
Hepner, who said Cody does have some insight into his crime, presented a statement on behalf of his client, who cannot read.
"He said he's truly sorry for the pain he caused the young girl and he can no longer blame alcohol or drugs," said Hepner, who added the man wants to get counselling for substance abuse.
Corey's lawyer, Mitch Stephensen, asked for a 6 1/2-year sentence, including time already spent behind bars.
He said his client can barely read or write, functions at the level of a four to six year old and will become overwhelmed if given too much information at once.
"Corey will not do well in treatment that he doesn't have the mental capacity for," said Stephensen, who cited one of the reports.
"But in my respectful submission, we have to make the attempt."
The Crown had earlier proposed a 12-year sentence. Prosecutor Jonathan Hak argued the two show little empathy for the victim and there is a relatively high risk they will reoffend.
Having them stay voluntarily at a residential facility following their sentence should not be considered, he added.
"I think in the real world, that's not going to happen," Hak said.
"I can't imagine either of these offenders willing to go to a residential-type facility to live out the balance of their life."
Angelina Manyshots, the men's mother, also addressed the court.
"I really love my sons," she said. "I'll do everything I can to help them."
Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had the incorrect spelling of Stephensen