Claude Houde trial: prosecution seeks four years in prison

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Trial of Claude Houde: the prosecution claims four years in prison

Master Corporal Claude Houde during a deployment in Romania in 2018

Military judge Martin Pelletier will have to decide on the sentence to impose on Claude Houde in a first case of sexual assault.

The military prosecutor, Cimon Senécal, claims 48 months in prison. It is essential, according to him, to take into account the vulnerability of the victim and the psychological damage they have suffered.

He recalled the recommendations of former Judge Louise Arbor on cases of sexual misconduct in the military as well as the importance to be given to the principles of denunciation and deterrence in this type of cause.

Cimon Senécal also criticizes Claude Houde for denying the facts and for not having started any rehabilitation process.

Conversely, lawyer Jean-Marc Tremblay is proposing 12 months incarceration because an expert has said that the risk of recidivism is very low. The defense describes Claude Houde as a gentle and generous man.

The lawyer gives no credibility to the victim. Jean-Marc Tremblay said he believed that the assaults in question were at the lowest level in terms of seriousness, which startled Judge Martin Pelletier, who spoke of significant seriousness given that; it was full intercourse forced by the defendant.

Mr. Pelletier took the case under advisement.

The defense lawyer has already indicated his intention to appeal the verdict. He could ask that his client remain free while the case is heard.

Last year, a committee of five soldiers found Master Corporal Claude Houde guilty two counts for sexual assaults that occurred between December 2015 and March 2017.

Member of the 3rd Maintenance Squadron at the Bagotville base, Master Corporal Claude Houde has been through two trials over the past year in sexual assault cases. He is awaiting a verdict in one of the cases, but he was found guilty last year of two assaults on a female member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

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