Foot fetishist guilty of sexually assaulting London girl
Crown to seek indefinite jail term
BY SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN
Michael James Fells (Facebook photo)
Foot fetishist Michael James Fells could be facing an indefinite prison sentence after his conviction Friday for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old London girl.
The Crown revealed it would seek to have Fells designated a dangerous offender, which comes with an indefinite sentence.
Justice Alison Harvison Young found Fells guilty of sexually assaulting the London girl, but acquitted him of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old single Toronto mom.
The judge found Fells, 31, molested the child by forcing her to lay on a basement mattress after he slept with the girl’s mother on Jan. 12, 2012.
Crown attorney Paul Zambonini will seek a psychiatric assessment — the first step in the dangerous offender process — when Fells returns to court Feb. 28.
Fells threatened the girl, striking her on the knees if she didn’t obey his commands, court heard. The crime happened 10 days after he had been released from a Hamilton jail where he spent a year for duping seven women into submitting to foot massages for his pleasure.
“Absent collusion or conspiracy, it is objectively impossible that the girl could have described the identical sexual behaviour that Mr. Fells has (admittedly) engaged in on numerous occasions if it had not occurred,” wrote the judge.
In 2008, Fells was convicted of similar offences against seven women in Halifax. He rubbed their feet against his penis while posing as a foot massage or reflexology student.
The judge cleared Fells of sexually assaulting the Toronto woman, who had at least one sexual encounter with him but it “may well have been consensual.
“Her denial of any sort of romantic interest in the face of these text messages is, in itself, utterly incredible,” wrote Harvison Young.
“The alleged victim maintained this (no romantic interest) position even after being confronted with many, many text messages replete with ‘I I love you, I miss you’ … and other terms of endearment such as ‘baby.’”