A judge reminded a former Montérégie firefighter that he could not blame a teenage girl who was the victim of her sexual abuse before sending her to jail for seven years to reflect.
“You tended to attribute to the victim the initiative of several acts of a sexual nature and to put the blame on the latter,” lamented Judge Benoît Gariépy, in condemning Sébastien Perreault, last Thursday, at the courthouse in Saint- Hyacinthe.
“A 13-14 year old cannot invite you, cannot consent to anything of a sexual nature. For seven years, I hope you will think about it every day, ”continued the magistrate in his sermon.
Six months ago, the 36-year-old man who was a firefighter at the Régie intermunicipale de sécuritéendie de la Vallée-du-Richelieu pleaded guilty to sexual interference on a teenage girl under 16. The gestures took place between January 2017 and October 2018.
She throws up her birthday cake
Perreault, an acquaintance of the victim’s mother, had multiple episodes of touching the teenager, according to the summary of the facts presented to the court.
He also had a full relationship with her on her 14th birthday. The young girl had vomited her birthday cake.
“While you were living the good life, I was crying and I was really not well. I had to see a psychologist, a social worker, a CAVAC worker [Centres d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels]… all because of what you gave me. Today, I move forward with my head held high, and I no longer let myself be stepped on, ”the victim told her attacker, in a letter read by Mr.e Claudie Gilbert, from the pursuit.
The teenager, who cannot be identified by court order, stood upright in front of Perreault during the hearing.
The fallen firefighter also read a note to the victim in which he apologized and said he was aware of “the psychological repercussions” his actions had in his life.
“I will especially continue to work on myself during my incarceration so that this situation never happens again,” he said.
Judge Gariépy thus endorsed the common sentencing suggestion.
“We were talking about two full relationships and a few touching episodes. Seven years is an important and serious sentence. This is not the type of sentence that we found a few years ago ”, greeted Mr.e Gilbert.
The prosecutor also underlined the judge’s remark wanting that Perreault blames part of the blame on his victim.
“We regularly see cognitive distortions in this type of case. The attackers claim that the victim tried to seduce them. It’s always surprising to see that you can blame a child on it, ”she continued.
For the mother of the victim, whose name must also be kept silent, this is an “exemplary” sentence.
“My daughter is better, she is relieved. It’s finish. We will be able to move on. I hope it will make other people think before they do similar things, ”she dropped.
Sébastien Perreault had managed to keep his job as a firefighter for more than 3 months after pleading guilty, even though he had been arrested at the fire station.