Toronto Man Jailed for Drugging Friend With ‘Date Rape Drug’

I cannot begin to express my rage reading this. The system is broken and communities need to fight back against rulings like this. A ruling that further diminishes the voice of survivors, sympathizes with the perpetrator and treats sexual assault like a petty crime rather than a criminal one. We believe survivors. We demand we do better.


A Toronto man has been sentenced to nine months in jail after a jury found him guilty of drugging a close friend with the date rape drug GHB, but acquitted him of sexual assault.

On the evening of April 17, 2014, Duilio “Nick” Franchino, 30, went over to the complainant’s apartment. Franchino brought her a bottle of wine at her request, and beer for himself. He poured her a glass of wine that she said tasted “salty and perfumey,” Justice John McMahon said in his sentencing decision.

Police found the bottle of wine spiked with GHB in the complainant’s kitchen. The total amount of GHB in the bottle was described by a toxicologist as a lethal amount.

After drinking the glass of wine, the complainant said she became sick and started vomiting. Franchino gave her a glass of water. McMahon found the water was also laced with GHB.

The complainant testified that she passed out in her bed. She said she woke up to find Franchino lying next to her masturbating with his hand in her underwear.

Franchino denied sexually assaulting the complainant or drugging her, claiming he had no idea how the GHB got into the wine.

McMahon noted that the jury acquitted Franchino both of sexual assault and administering a stupefying drug for the purpose of sexual assault.

Due to the jury’s verdict, Justice McMahon said there is no evidence before him that explains why Franchino brought the GHB-laced wine to the complainant’s home and gave it to her to drink.

He did find that it was a “well-thought out plan and a well-executed plan” that ensured the complainant, who saw him as a trusted friend, was isolated and vulnerable in her home with no one to help her.

“After seeing the young victim in distress and vomiting, rather than assisting the victim he provided her with further GHB. I find this to be extremely aggravating,” he said.

But while McMahon said drugging someone with a street-level drug of unknown strength leads to a serious risk of harm, he found the crime falls into the less serious category of intending to aggrieve or annoy, rather than endangering life or causing bodily harm.

McMahon also noted in his ruling that Franchino has no criminal record and has the support of his family, his fiancée and his fiancée’s family.

The Crown had asked for a sentence of 12 to 15 months in jail, while the defence asked for a suspended or conditional sentence.