Alexander Fiodor Levin’s Canadian wife and four children were in Saskatoon provincial court on Monday when he pleaded guilty to child harbouring.
Crown prosecutor Frank Impey explained how Levin, 47, met Oziene Barbosa online and started an affair with her in Brazil about three years ago. She got pregnant and gave birth while Levin was back in Canada.
The couple's daughter, Ieda Alexendra Levin, was already a year old when he went back to Brazil to meet the child last spring.
Court heard that Levin took the pair to Ukraine by way of Argentina and France. That’s when Levin said he acquired Barbosa’s Facebook password, went through her profile and discovered that she had been seeing at least three other men while they were apart.
“Infidelity is the most heinous act one person can inflict on another,” said Levin, who added that he expected his mistress to stay faithful even though he had a wife and family back in Canada.
Levin's comments prompted Judge Daryl Labach to ask Levin point-blank if this made him a hypocrite. Levin answered “yes” and admitted that, in retrospect, his tryst with Barbosa had been “bound to unravel” at some point.
Levin said he was traumatized when he discovered Barbosa’s alleged infidelities and that this led him to take little Ieda in late June 2013.
He told Barbosa, who only speaks Portuguese and was pregnant with another of Levin's children, that he and Ieda were going to buy milk.
But instead he left behind a bit of money and a plane ticket for Barbosa to get back to South America and then took the girl to Bulgaria, Turkey and Dubai before landing in the Philippines.
Levin told court that he knew he’d have trouble getting a visa for Ieda if he tried to bring her to Canada, so he left her with a seamstress who had repaired a stroller for him.
While Levin admitted that he barely knew the woman, he said he “is a good judge of character.” He also said he left ample money and supplies for the girl’s care when he returned to Saskatoon.
Impey said Levin left instructions that Ieda was only to be referred to as "Alexandra" and that she was to be punished if she spoke her native Portuguese instead of English.
Levin told court he was in contact with Barbosa via emails in which he demanded all the details of her relationships with other men. He said he told her that the only way she would see her child again was if she agreed to move to Saskatchewan and live in a location of his choosing.
Levin finally gave up Ieda’s location after his arrest last October. She was picked up by Filipino social services and returned to her mother later that month.
Impey asked the judge to impose a two-year prison term, with credit for the more than 100 days Levin has spent in remand.
Representing himself, Levin made a 2 1/2-hour presentation, outlining some 39 points that he said ought to be taken into consideration in a plea for leniency.
The judge repeatedly cut Levin off for straying into matters that weren’t relevant, including Levin's love of classical piano.
Labach reserved his sentencing decision until Wednesday.
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