A man who violently sexually assaulted a young woman on Galloping Goose trail and then tracked her online as she tried to recover has been sentenced to eight years in jail.

Bradley Michael Muscat, 21, was sentenced in a Victoria Court Thursday after pleading guilty to the brutal crime, as well as a violent attack on a woman in Surrey two months later.

The prosecution had asked for 10 years while Muscat’s lawyer wanted a total of five years for the two crimes.

“It’s below the range that the Crown had suggested, however it’s a very significant sentence for an individual who had no prior criminal history,” said prosecutor Ruth Picha.

Two years ago, Muscat forced a Langford woman in her 20s off Jacklin Road with a sharp object, threatening to slit her throat before violently sexually assaulting her.

He stole his victim’s cell phone during the assault, and weeks later, sent her a friend request on Facebook.

Police arrested him after gathering DNA evidence from the victim after the attack and comparing it to DNA collected from a beer can that Muscat dumped out at a skateboard park in Surrey.

When he was taken into custody at his Surrey apartment, months after the assault, he was wearing a bathrobe with the Langford victim’s cellphone in his pocket.

“Certainly there’s a concern when people hear the circumstances of these offences, of his eventual release, but they also have to understand that the criminal justice system is here for a reason,” said Muscat’s lawyer Jordan Watt, who described the sentence as thoughtful. “Deterrence and denunciation are the paramount principles obviously. You have to consider his youth and his lack of record towards his rehabilitation.”

Muscat was not physically present in court but attended by way of video conference.

The only time he spoke was just before the sentence was handed down, when he told the court that he was sorry how he had impacted the victims, he was sorry it happened, and he was willing to do anything to make sure it wouldn’t happen again in the future.

His Langford victim provided a victim impact statement describing how she now suffers from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, is fearful constantly and feels “broken.”

With credit for time already served, his sentence was reduced to six years and two months.