Just retouched a few things for clarity.
Convicted in December 2006 of sexual assault on a minor that occurred between 1985 and 1992, Marcel Simonin, 67, who was an elder in the Jehovah's Witnesses in Châteauguay at the time of the crimes, was sentenced to a term of nine-month prison sentence he will serve in the community.
Simonin was sentenced last Wednesday at the Valleyfield courthouse.At the time of the first assault, the victim, a young girl was only eleven years old.
It was at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Châteauguay that the mother of the young victim had met the individual who then occupied the role of Elder, that is to say, he was speaking at the Meetings. He taught life precepts and spiritually supported members of the congregation.
After successfully gaining the confidence of this woman and her daughter, he later started to intimate contact with the teen, contacts from simple touching to complete sexual intercourse.
During those eight years, the attacks occurred in several places, especially in the individual's home, in his car, at the home of the girl and the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Châteauguay.
In his judgment, Judge Linda Despots of the Criminal Division, noted that the victim had filed a complaint when she was 16 or 17 years but had subsequently withdrew the complaint "feeling under pressure from the community and the threat of being disfellowshipped . "
It is another elder from the Quebec City area where the mother and the complainant had relocated, who convinced her to write a letter to the authorities of the Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses of her experiences with the accused.
Following receipt of this letter, Simonin telephoned his victim to apologize for the actions after having recognized the truth. The complainant would have forgiven him.
But when, in 2003, the girl seeing the accused at a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, his presence rekindles her injuries and made her relive the guilt experienced during the years she has been the victim of touching. After this, followed difficult years for the girl where she made three suicide attempts and began psychological counseling.
In 2005, in order to continue her therapeutic approach and free herself, the girl again decides to file a complaint against the accused.
Believing that the credibility of the accused - who had always denied the alleged acts - was affected for many reasons, the Tribunal declared Marcel Simonin guilty of sexual assault under section 246.1 (1) a), 271 (1) a) and 153 (1) a) of the Criminal Code.
Before 1996, a person convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of less than two years was to serve his sentence in custody in a prison. Today, a person sentenced to a term of imprisonment of less than two years may serve that sentence in the community if the court considers that a conditional sentence of imprisonment is appropriate.
The Sun tried unsuccessfully last Thursday to join the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Châteauguay for comment. Officially, the Jehovah's Witnesses oppose pedophilia.