A former Lorette teacher has been found guilty of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.
Remi Dallaire has been convicted on four criminal charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference, inviting touching and making available sexually explicit material.
Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ken Champagne told court in a decision delivered Friday afternoon that he found the Crown has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt on each individual and separate charge.
Champagne told court the evidence highlights how Dallaire gained the trust of the girl and then engaged in a sexual relationship with the child.
“That trust allowed him to normalize an incredibly dangerous relationship with an 8-year-old child,” Champagne told court. “It is a skilled example of grooming behaviour and I don’t hesitate in finding the accused is a predator.”
The girl, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, testified she was sexually assaulted and inappropriately touched on more than one occasion and shown pornography when she spent time alone with Dallaire.
“Overall I found [the girl’s] evidence to be honest and it provided details and descriptions of events that took place,” Champagne told court. “I accept her evidence about what the accused did to her.”
“I have no doubt it occurred and she hated it.”
Dallaire’s lawyer acknowledged the relationship may have been inappropriate but argued it didn’t cross the boundary to a criminal offence.
The defence also argued the allegations were fabricated and that the girl was coached by her mom who was interested in a romantic relationship with Dallaire.
Champagne didn’t buy that argument. He told court the girl’s mom acted promptly when her daughter told her about the abuse.
“I believe her,” Champagne told court of the mom’s testimony. “Nothing would’ve caused her to fabricate these allegations.
Court heard the girl was 8 when she got to know Dallaire after her mom moved across the hall from his apartment in June 2016.
Dallaire began helping the mom by looking after her daughter when she was at work.
“It was clear she felt she needed Mr. Dallaire’s help and he was happy to offer it,” Crown attorney Danielle Simard told court Thursday during closing arguments.
The Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine said in a statement Dallaire has not been employed by the division since the end 2015-2016 school year.
On Thursday the division said it’s aware of the case against Dallaire but couldn’t comment any further as the matter is before the courts.
Published at Fri, 14 Sep 2018 17:52:33 -0400