May 17th, 2024

Man sentenced for assaulting girlfriend


By Delon Shurtz on November 2, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 22-year-old Coalhurst man will have to follow strict curfew conditions for the next year after being sentenced for several violent assaults in 2020 and earlier this year.
Nicco Diego Cantillas was handed a 12-month conditional sentence Monday in Lethbridge provincial court, where he pleaded guilty to charges of assault, assault with a weapon and unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon.
Court was told Cantillas “exhibited controlling behaviour” while he and his girlfriend lived together, and controlled access to her phone, wallet and keys. He would search her phone and social media, and block people from contacting her, and he would often not permit her to leave the house unless he was present. Occasionally he would inspect her clothing to ensure it was appropriate, and when they left the house he often expected her to walk behind him.
During the spring of 2019 the couple began arguing in their bedroom, and Cantillas began to angrily throw pillows at his girlfriend before the incident escalated and he attacked her.
“Mr. Cantillas jumped off the bed and grabbed her…neck from the front with two hands, and then shook her really rigorously,” Crown Prosecutor Norma Quaroni explained.
That same spring the couple was laughing and playing in their home when Cantillas, who was vaping, pinned the woman down with his body. He expelled vapour from his mouth into the woman’s face until she couldn’t breathe or talk.
Then, in the spring of 2020, an incident occurred in which Cantillas had to be tasered by police. He blamed his girlfriend for the incident, and sometime later he tasered her while they were out with friends.
Lethbridge lawyer Wade Hlady said his client admits the circumstances of the assaults, but suggested the vape incident was a “play matter gone wrong.”
During his conditional sentence, Cantillas must obey a curfew between 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. He must take counseling as directed for domestic violence and undergo addictions assessment and treatment as directed, and he is prohibited from contacting the victim or even mentioning her in social media. He is also prohibited from consuming alcohol or illegal substances.
Cantillas will be on probation for a year following the completion of this conditional sentence, during which several of the same conditions will apply.
He must also submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank, and he is prohibited from possessing certain weapons for 10 years, and others for life.
Hlady told court Cantillas, who is schizophrenic, is doing well and is on medication and regularly seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.

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