(Trois-Rivieres) Despite several mitigating factors, Gilles Godin, a former teacher of the College Lafleche, will have to serve 23 months in prison for sexually abusing a girl for three years.
Judge Bruno Langelier has concluded on Wednesday it would be inappropriate to allow him to serve a sentence in the community as requested by his lawyer, Jacques Larochelle. Although Gilles Godin has real potential for rehabilitation, the risk of recurrence is low, he has no sexual deviance and he feels sincere remorse, the court considers that the criteria of denunciation and deterrence s’ necessary in this case. The judge relied on the fact that he took advantage of the vulnerability of a child and abused his trust for three years and at a rate of at least once a week.
Recall that in January, Gilles Godin pleaded guilty to counts of sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching of a girl. He had admitted the offenses over a period from June 1997 to September 2000. The victim was then aged between 10 and 13 years. The latter had no connection with the job he held. At a rate of once a week for three years, he was so engaged in inappropriate touching it, such as fondling and mutual masturbatory gestures.
During sentencing submissions, the victim had stated feel no anger or revenge toward him. She said he had nothing tried to stop his actions and have even taken the lead. She also confessed to some of the responsibility, which explained why she had not complained before May 2014.
But on this point, the Langelier judge was careful to remember that children have absolutely no responsibility in sexual abuse but rather up to the adults to ensure their welfare.
The Crown prosecutor, Jean-Marc Poirier, had requested a sentence of 36 months in prison. He pleaded several factors such as duration, frequency, breach of trust, the age of the victim and the consequences with which it must live. Some of her self-esteem problems and trust in others. She has an aversion to physical contact and resents her mother for not having been able to protect her.
The defense had rather called for a sentence of less than two years in the community by invoking the loving and personal problems of his client at this time of his life, his level of responsibility and the serious consequences that this case had held that the loss of his job.
The judge has indeed given the mitigating factors. Gilles Godin pleaded guilty, he has no criminal record or sexual deviancy. He knows he has done wrong to the point of experiencing a great shame to have fallen into depression and having suicidal thoughts. It is also involved in a therapeutic process, expressed remorse and committed no other offense ever since. Moreover, the psychological and sexological reports are indeed favorable and the risk of recurrence is considered very low. Finally, it enjoys unconditional support of his children.
For cons, the aggravating factors, particularly with respect to abuse children, were considered very important in the sentence to impose. After 23 months in prison, he must undergo probation for 18 months including 12 months follow-up. He will also be prohibited to engage in employment that would place in the presence of young people under 18 years and it will be registered in the sex offender registry for 20 years.