SOREL-TRACY | A judge wanted to send a clear message to society on Friday by imposing a record 15-and-a-half-year prison sentence on a riding coach who sexually assaulted a dozen victims over a 20-year period.
“He used his job to target and profit from his victims. All the victims were riding, and he took advantage of their naivety to manipulate them, ”Judge Denys Noël said on Friday, with regard to Clément Lamoureux.
The magistrate detailed the heavy sentence of 15 and a half years in prison that he imposed on the ex-equestrian trainer in front of some of his visibly emotional victims, at the Sorel-Tracy courthouse.
Between 1997 and 2017, the man satiated his low instincts on 12 vulnerable young girls who frequented the stable where he worked, in Saint-Amable. Only one of them was of age.
He approached and fiddled with his victims insistently in order to seduce them and entice them into having sex with him, according to a well-established modus operandi.
In exchange for their silence, he let them ride.
Some of them even fell in love with him.
Others have had a hundred full sexual relations with him, and sometimes with other adults such as his son, who is also facing trial.
Lamoureux was at the head of these appalling group activities during which fellatio contests involved blindfolded teens.
Justice Noël took into account in his decision the impacts that victims of the predator still suffer today, including attachment disorders, drug use and alcohol.
During the observations on the sentence, one of them also compared its current condition to that of a sheet of paper that would be crumpled before unfolding it, said the judge.
“She'll never be the same again, and her words are quite punchy,” he conceded, saying Lamoureux stole their teenage years.
The magistrate also maintained that the attacker had “no empathy” for the women he injured and that he minimizes his responsibility.
“He justifies himself by saying that they were in love with each other, and that he believed he had the right from the age of 14,” he said. He didn't believe this version.
By cumulating the sentences he wished to render for each of the 60 or so charges, the judge recorded a total of 28 and a half years of imprisonment. He had to readjust the shot to arrive at a dissuasive sentence, but fair.
“It's very good. I am very satisfied, ”said Crown prosecutor Geneviève Beaudin when she left the courtroom, who had suggested a sentence of 18 years.
“It shows the seriousness of the acts committed on the victims. We have to trust the justice system. ”
By way of comparison, the former coach Bertrand Charest, who had repeatedly assaulted nine young skiers, was sentenced to 10 years and 3 months in prison, on appeal in 2019.
♦ By deducting his preventive detention, Clément Lamoureux must still serve a prison sentence of 13 years and 7 months.
A victim of abuse maintains confidence in the system
Marie-Elyse Guertin is satisfied with the sentence imposed on her attacker.
“We must trust the justice system,” testified Friday with determination one of the 12 victims sexually assaulted by horse riding trainer Clément Lamoureux.
It was after a long and considered decision for over a year that Marie-Elyse Guertin decided to lift the veil on her identity.
The 34-year-old asked Judge Denys Noël to overturn the publication ban that protected her name, as with all victims of sex crimes, in order to publicly comment on the decision that was rendered against her attacker.
“As a victim, of course I would have liked him to get 18 years in prison, but I'm not disappointed. It is a suitable and exemplary sentence. I hope he will understand, ”she expressed, moments after the delivery of the sentence of 15 and a half years of the former equestrian trainer. (see text opposite)
“I tell myself that while he's going to be inside, he can't make other victims. It won't cure me. It's been 20 years, and I'm still living the consequences. So, with 15 years old, he's not doing so badly, ”she continued.
After this public position, Ms. Guertin also wants to take the opportunity to educate other people who have been branded with a hot iron like her by a manipulator or an attacker to denounce them to the authorities.
“It's important for victims to go through the justice system, and not just through Facebook or Instagram. It's good [social networks], but it's not enough, ”concluded the young woman.