Roland of Quebec: His victim no longer wants to be ashamed

For 30 years of his life, Roland de Québec was able to live “under the radar” and pursue his career as a “celebrity photographer” with impunity. Meanwhile, his victim felt trapped in a cage for three decades.

“My name is Martin Chouinard, I have nothing to blame myself for.” One of the victims of Roland Lachance, the 90-year-old photographer who was twice convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager, gave a strong testimony in court during the sentencing hearing.

Martin Chouinard bumped into Roland from Quebec while hitchhiking in the early 90’s. The attacker had quickly invited the 14-year-old to take photos to build a modeling portfolio for him, invited him to social events, and made advances to him that led to about fifty sexual assaults by the fall of ’93.

glass prison

For 30 years of his life, Martin Chouinard tried to forget this story, despite a rage that dominated him. When a first victim filed a complaint against Roland Lachance in 2019, Martin decided to dive for his part.

“Thanks to the other victim, it’s thanks to him that I’m here. That was the little kick I was missing,” said the 45-year-old before the judge. However, the process was very difficult for him, even to the point where he tried his life.

“Instead of great joy, there was great emptiness,” he said with great honesty. However, the family man recovered from this dark episode thanks to therapy and the love of his family. “There is a development that I see,” he says.

The guilty verdict was also beneficial to his healing process. “The process gave me the certainty that I have nothing to blame myself,” he said. “It was difficult, but it was worth it,” Martin adds, urging victims of sexual assault to report him as he did.

“I have nothing to do with being ashamed of being afraid,” he explains now. At that moment, Martin spontaneously asked the court to publish his name. A publication ban prevented the media from revealing his identity, but the man wanted it lifted to mark the rupture of this “glass prison” in which he had felt locked up for 30 years.

Four years required

Prosecutor Michel Bérubé, despite the accused’s age, asked for a 4-year prison sentence because he believes he has been able to live “under the radar” since the events. “He was able to live his entire life without society knowing about the heinous crimes he had committed,” argued Frau.e berube.

Roland Lachance’s attorney has urged Judge Thomas Jacques to show “moderation” and he proposes a sentence of two years less a day, to be served in the community.

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