Engineer Simon Houle went after his victim, pleads the DPCP

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Engineer Simon Houle attacked his victim, pleads the DPCP

While the Crown was asking for 18 months in prison, Simon Houle was granted a conditional discharge.

A sexual assault stretching for a “minimum” 24 minutes. In “at least” three different rooms of an apartment. Nine photos of the victim's private parts kept in his cell phone for weeks. The arguments raised on appeal by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) reveal other troubling details about the crimes committed by engineer Simon Houle, who obtained a discharge last June.

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In April 2019, the Trifluvien sexually assaulted and photographed one of his friends, asleep, after a party in an apartment. After pleading guilty, Simon Houle received a conditional discharge, in particular to allow him to travel for his work.

The decision of the judge of the Court of Quebec Matthieu Poliquin created controversy and the DPCP appealed it. He is asking for a sentence of 15 to 18 months in prison.

While the judge considered that the attack took place after all quickly, the DPCP underlines the relentlessness of Simon Houle to attack the woman although the victim tried to escape fleeing him into the apartment.

The photos were taken from 5:30 a.m. to 5:54 a.m., on the kitchen floor, on the bed and on a sofa in the living room, details the DPCP, in its appeal brief, of which Radio-Canada obtained a copy.

The 9 photos remained accessible in Simon Houle's cell phone for 44 days, until the police search. This is a long time that these images may have been seen or shared. The victim will never be able to be certain that his sexual integrity and his private life are no longer in danger, write prosecutors Eve-Lyne Goulet and Maxime Lacoursière.

The DPCP criticizes Judge Poliquin who would have shown a reductionist vision of the real gravity of the attack and handed down a manifestly unreasonable sentence.

The Court of Quebec would have been sparing of details as to the aggravating circumstances of Simon Houle's crime, because it would have adopted tunnel vision to focus on the rehabilitation of the aggressor.

While the judge underlined the frankness of Simon Houle after he had admitted to having sexually assaulted another woman in the past without being charged, the DPCP rather considers that this admission is aggravating and indicates that he committed a recidivism.

The circumstances are also troubling similarities. In a report signed by his psychologist, we can read that in 2015, Simon Houle touched the genitals of a sleeping woman, over her clothes, during a party. The latter would have woken up.

The judge also noted that Simon Houle's drunken state is not a defense, but it can allow to explain a behavior.

On the contrary, it is aggravating, according to the DPCP, which points out that the engineer knew that his intoxication made him more likely to commit the same type of offence.

The judge would have unduly simplified the consequences of the crime on the victim, according to the public ministry, which specifies that, three years later, the victim fears so much to cross his attacker when she goes to the restaurant, that ;she looks around the room at least fifty times to be sure he is not present.

With the waves of denunciations in recent years, society has a different perception of sexual assault, says the DPCP. The sentence imposed does not correspond to society's new conception of the offenses committed by [Simon Houle].

The aggressor's lawyer, Me Pierre Spain, did not respond to Radio-Canada's interview request. He is expected to file his appeal brief in October. The case will be litigated in the coming months.

The Lac des Deux-Montagnes Police Department claims to have submitted an additional investigation to the DPCP last week concerning the allegation, targeting Simon Houle, of x27;sexual misconduct in early July during a trip to Cuba. A teacher from the Laurentians claims that the engineer grabbed her buttocks without her consent in a bar in Cayo Coco. The DPCP must study the case and determine whether he will be charged again.

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