Spread the love

An intellectually disabled person served as a slave in Beauce

Open in full screen mode

A woman received a 4-year prison sentence at the Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce courthouse, for mistreating and exploiting an intellectually disabled person.

  • Yannick Bergeron (View profile)Yannick Bergeron

For nearly a decade, a Beauceronne woman in her sixties who has the mental capacities of a 7 or 8 year old child “experienced hell” being compared to a “slave” or “Aurore the child martyr”.

Due to her intellectual disability, Solange* lived with a family member designated as her guardian. The guardian's partner took advantage of the situation by treating the poor woman like her slave, forcing her to do all the household chores in addition to physically mistreating her for several years.

In addition to being repeatedly beaten, Solange has to sleep on a camp bed in the cellar of the house, a place she cannot leave at night. She had to relieve herself in a boiler in that room, revealed the prosecutor, Me Annik Harbour, during a hearing at the Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce courthouse.

Open in mode full screen

Me Annik Harbour, criminal and penal prosecutor. (File photo)

During the summer, Josée* admitted her guilt for having committed armed assault on Solange, causing her injury, kidnapping her and defrauding her. Because in addition to physically exploiting the victim, the torturer also deprived her of her money, embezzling several thousand dollars for her own benefit.

The victim was also allegedly sexually assaulted by Benoit*, Josée's brother, who lived under the same roof. Solange would also have suffered from a sexually transmitted infection.

It is in this context that the sequestration took place. Rather than removing the attacker from the environment, we confined Madame in a small room with a boiler, emphasized Mr. Harbour.

During the day, Solange has to wear diapers since she is often denied access to the toilet.

The accused had already washed the victim with a floor brush, in a bath containing Ajax, because she had defecated in her diaper.

A quote from Me Annik Harbour, DPCP prosecutor< /blockquote>

This regime of terror will last for almost 10 years, until Solange's guardian dies in 2020. Solange's new guardian who discovered the atrocities experienced by her new resident.

The guardian testified during the criminal proceedings against Josée last month. The woman described how Solange was reluctant to have her hair washed because she says it tried to drown her.

As for food, she will still ask if she can have a glass of water, if she can take something from the pantry, the lady also confides.

It was she who noticed anomalies in the banking transactions in Solange's account. A transfer of $1,529 was made every month to Josée, an amount which corresponds to her old age security allowance, noted Me Harbour.

The checks showed that Solange's money was used to buy an iPad and cell phones, for which she had monthly plans even though she cannot read or write, revealed the prosecutor.

The Hydro account of the torturer's residence where several people lived was also in the name of Solange, whose money was used also to pay for groceries for the household.

After observing Solange's condition, the new guardian took her to a doctor who produced a medical report. The doctor noted the presence of significant abrasions on Solange's knees, since she had had her joints bleeding from washing the floors on all fours.

The sixty-year-old also had a lesion on her right temple which did not heal. During the police investigation, witnesses revealed that they had seen Josée hit the victim several times, sometimes with a broom or mop, and even pushed her from the top of a staircase.

< blockquote class="Wrapper-sc-2357a233-0 QEnbv">

No one denounced the situation of mistreatment, since they feared Josée

A quote by Me Annik Harbour, DPCP prosecutor

When the police met a nephew of the victim, he compared Solange to Aurore the child martyr , but in an adult body, illustrated Me Harbour.

The judge was able to see the mental capacities of Solange who testified about the consequences of the repeated attacks she experienced.

The sixty-year-old was in another room of the courthouse for her video testimony, so as not to come across her tormentor whom she still fears. To facilitate her testimony, she is accompanied by her new guardian and Manic, a support dog from the Sûreté du Québec.

Open in full screen mode

Manic, an emotional support dog from the Sûreté du Québec, accompanied Solange during her testimony.

I'm in a lot of pain here, Solange confides in her little voice, putting her hand on her chest, at the level of her heart.

I want to get out of this and I don't want to be able to see the others. Never.

A quote from Solange during her testimony

Me Harbor speaks to her slowly, as one would do it with a child. How do you feel in your heart, she asks him.

My heart can't sleep at night. I'm afraid of them, confides the victim, adding that I always live in fear. I would like them to leave me in peace. Let them not come and bother me anymore, Solange breathes, before adding that she is happy where she lives now.

Judge Robitaille takes the floor, in the same tone as Me Harbor a little earlier.

Rest assured, there is almost no no chance. You will never see that woman again, says the judge. Thank you, thank you very much, replied Solange, emotionally.

I shouldn't have done that, agreed Josée who also testified, expressing regrets.

I can't stop thinking about all this in my head, she said, whining while promising to never do it again.

It's odious what happened, agreed his lawyer Benoit Labrecque when presenting the sentence agreed with the prosecution.

Lawyers suggested imposing four years of detention on Josée, a sentence the judge said was within acceptable limits.

Judge Robitaille argued that the woman could have deserved a harsher sentence, but that it was not unreasonable. The fact that she admitted her guilt, avoiding Solange having to testify in a trial, was the main mitigating factor for Josée.

The offender took advantage without shame and without pity of a completely vulnerable and destitute woman, such as a child under the age of 10, noted the magistrate when imposing four years of detention on Josée last month.

As for his brother Benoît who allegedly sexually assaulted Solange for several years, he must appear in court this week to settle his case.

*fictitious first names to protect the identity of the victim

  • Yannick Bergeron (View profile)Yannick BergeronFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116