A repeat sex offender who lashed out at a woman in a laundry room after he had just finished serving 17 years in prison for a series of similar crimes was sentenced to an additional five years behind bars.
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“Next time it’s [l’étiquette de] dangerous offender who awaits you ”, warned the judge Hélène Morin by condemning Robert Ménard, last week, at the courthouse of Montreal.
Ménard, 58, is a sexual predator who preyed on 13 women two decades ago. He had been sentenced to 17 years in prison, but was out at two-thirds of his sentence. His stay in the penitentiary did not seem to have calmed him down since afterwards he had received convictions for escape from legal custody and attempted escape.
This had earned him, moreover, being declared a long-term offender.
He didn’t understand anything
But even with this unenviable status, Ménard does not seem to have learned the lesson. Because in April 2017, he attacked a woman who was washing in the laundry room of a residential complex in Montreal.
“The woman had noticed it, he seemed a little lost, he seemed to be doing maintenance,” explained the Crown prosecutor, Me Jérôme Laflamme. As she moved the clothes, he told her he was thinking about cleaning. ”
Except that when the woman was bending down to get some laundry, Ménard suddenly grabbed her, blocking her arm. The woman wanted to cry out, but Ménard put his hand over her mouth. He then busied himself making sexual touches with her, until he tried to rape her.
“The victim started to panic, she understood what was going to happen,” said Me Laflamme.
Fortunately, she managed to scream loudly enough, to the point that Ménard slipped away. In the meantime, a neighbor who had heard the call for help came to his aid.
As Ménard had left the scene, it took the police two years to track him down. His trial was due to start this week, but he eventually pleaded guilty to sexual assault.
“I’m sorry, I will do everything to help me in prison,” Ménard commented during the hearing.
He then said he had empathy for the victims and that he would improve, but the judge reminded him that this work had to be done “24 hours a day”.
Because if he got away with five years in penitentiary at the suggestion of the Crown and Me Charles Benmouyal, legal aid, he will risk big if he ever reoffends.
In addition to the prison sentence, Ménard must be entered in the sex offender register until his death.