Pe­dophile priest gets house ar­rest

National Post (Latest Edition) - - CANADA - Paul Cherry

A priest who taught at a Mon­treal high school decades ago and ad­mit­ted on Tues­day to hav­ing sex­u­ally abused a teenage boy at the school has been sen­tenced to 15 months of house ar­rest.

Us­ing a walker and un­able to meet t he usual Mon­treal court­house re­quire­ment to stand, Oli­vain Leblanc, 75, sat while he pleaded guilty to one count of gross in­de­cency.

Pros­e­cu­tor Amélie Ri­vard ex­plained t hat, be­tween 1979 and 1981, the abuse in­volved oral sex and touch­ing the stu­dent in a sex­ual man­ner when the vic­tim was a young teenager.

She also said the joint rec­om­men­da­tion made on the sen­tence, along with de­fence lawyer Is­abel Schur­man, was agreed upon dur­ing a long fa­cil­i­ta­tion process where ne­go­ti­a­tions where held be­fore a dif­fer­ent Que­bec Court judge out­side of a court­room.

“Noth­ing can re­pair ( the vic­tim),” Ri­vard said while sum­ma­riz­ing the dif­fi­culty the man went through af­ter he was abused.

In a story pub­lished in the Mon­treal Gazette in 2010, the vic­tim said he lived a soli­tary life, wrestling with the psy­cho­log­i­cal af­ter- ef­fects of what he ex­pe­ri­enced.

He said he bounced from dead- end job to dead- end job while his for­mer class­mates went on to be­come en­gi­neers, lawyers and doc­tors.

On Tues­day, the vic­tim, whose name is pro­tected by a pub­li­ca­tion ban, made a brief state­ment be­fore the Que­bec Court judge agreed with the joint rec­om­men­da­tion on the sen­tence that was pre­sented to her.

“When I was ex­pelled from Col­lège Notre- Dame, I went to see ( Leblanc) and he said, ‘ There is noth­ing I can do for you.’ Now it is my turn to say to him that there is noth­ing I can do for you,” the vic­tim said.

As he ap­proached the bench the vic­tim looked di­rectly to­ward Leblanc and was star­tled when the abuser said some­thing to him as he walked by.

“What he said was, ‘ It’s OK.’ It was his way of say­ing to me, ‘ Go ahead and say what you have to say,’ ” the vic­tim ex­plained later.

Leblanc al s o made a state­ment to the court and apol­o­gized di­rectly to the vic­tim and his mother, who is now de­ceased. Leblanc will have to spend the first seven months of the sen­tence at his res­i­dence all day ex­cept for spe­cific cir­cum­stances.

He will have to re­spect a cur­few for the last eight months of the sen­tence.

He will also be on Canada’s sex of­fender reg­istry for 20 years.

Schur­man said her client has dif­fi­culty walk­ing, suf­fers from di­a­betes, de­pres­sion and has a prob­lem with his prostate.

“I am sat­is­fied (with the sen­tence) in the sense that Brother Leblanc has se­ri­ous health prob­lems,” the vic­tim said adding he be­lieves Leblanc was sin­cere in his apol­ogy “up to a cer­tain point.”


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