A woman who denounced repeated sexual assaults by her stepfather 30 years ago as part of the #metoo movement was believed by the judge, although her testimony was “far from perfect”. The 62-year-old Montrealer sexually abused his 11-year-old stepdaughter multiple times a week for two years.
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“My childhood is a black hole. I don’t feel like I will have a different way of life. I have a feeling it will always be like this. […] [J’étais] extinguished. I was very ashamed. I remember very much the fear I lived. »
This is how the victim, now in his mid-40s, recalled his difficult childhood at the trial of the 62-year-old pedophile outside the Montreal courthouse. He was found guilty on May 31 of sexually assaulting and sexually influencing a child under the age of 14. The accused may not be named in order to protect the identity of the victim.
Overcome with shame and responsibility, the victim remained silent for 30 years before denouncing his executioner in 2019 thanks to the #metoo movement. A Center for Assistance and Combating Sexual Assault (CALACS) l then led her to file a complaint.
From 1989 to 1991, his stepfather used the many absences of his mother, who was struggling with gambling problems, to repeatedly sexually abuse the child. The pedophile had developed a habit of lying on the victim’s sofa in the living room and then sexually rubbing his pelvis against her.
“It was several times a week whenever he had the opportunity,” the victim explained in court.
On another occasion, her stepfather sexually assaulted her at night by slipping his hand under her jacket while he was masturbating. “She was paralyzed,” says the judge. For years, her stepfather asked her to “keep it a secret.”
Honest if imperfect testimony
In his 50-page ruling, Judge Dennis Galiatsatos notes that despite its flaws, the victim’s testimony was “frank, persuasive and imbued with authenticity.” According to Richter, his inaccuracies can easily be explained by his “young age” during the events.
On the contrary, the accused provided an “arranged and exaggerated” version by trying “at all costs” to prove that he could not have committed the crimes. Efforts showing his desire to “deceive the court” apologize, judge Galiatsatos rules.
According to the defense, the victim fabricated everything out of “resentment and revenge” because the defendant reported her to the police for hitting her mother in 1995. A theory “bereft of any reason,” according to the judge, and deemed it unlikely that a young girl would have waited two decades to stage such a ruse.
Judgments are scheduled for next September. The accused, who is still at large, is arrested by Mr.e Cyril Girot. The public prosecutor’s office is represented by Mr.e Genevieve Rondeau Marchand.