International Rape Convict Denied Parole With Help of Victim

Ali Rasai, accused of raping women in several countries, was denied for parole thanks in part to the efforts of one of his victims, Holly Desimone.

Rasai was born in Iran and was first charged with rape in Australia in 1990. Rasai falsely claimed refugee status, fled to Canada, and continued to sexually assault women in Red Deer and Edmonton. He was charged a second time, but released on a $3,000 bail. He then fled to Holland, Norway, and Turkey. He was finally apprehended in Amsterdam and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in Canada, after which he applied for parole so that he could be deported. The Stony Mountain Institution, however, refused his parole, after Desimone presenterd her victim impact statement.

Desimone tracked Rasai’s whereabouts for nearly ten years. She was the first in Canada to ask the courts to lift the publication ban on her name as a sexual assault survivor, saying “I wanted people to know that there is a face to rape… If we wanted him apprehended, … I needed to be named.” Desimone spent years of emotional toil as well as $200,000 of her own money to track down the rapist. She is currently completing her criminology degree and urged others : “Silence is the ultimate killer in the end. You need to tell someone if you want a healthy life and want to trust men again.”


The Calgary Sun - July 25, 1998

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