From gymnasium to prison, Thierry Pellerin sentenced to 5 years
Thierry Pellerin on his arrival at the Quebec courthouse, before receiving his sentence.
Barely three years ago, Thierry Pellerin represented a Canadian Olympic hopeful in gymnastics. The 25-year-old sabotaged his career by committing sex crimes which now earned him five years in prison.
The fallen athlete is presented at the Quebec courthouse on Friday with a bag containing his personal effects in anticipation of his stay behind bars.
Dressed in a blue jacket over a black turtleneck , he remained impassive as he was handcuffed, in front of his parents present in the courtroom.
While he was a coach at the Lévis gymnastics club, Thierry Pellerin committed computer luring and incited boys to sexual contact.
The eight victims were aged 6 12 years old, at the time of the offences.
In his decision, Judge Alain Morand underlines the great courage of these young victims as well as the vigilance and support of their parents.
“Their collaboration with justice contributes, one case at a time, to building a safer and fairer society for children. »
— Alain Morand, judge at the Court of Quebec
Thierry Pellerin also produced child pornography by filming, without their knowledge, the boys of the club, at the urinals.
After his arrest in July 2020, he immediately confessed.
After admitting his guilt, Pellerin met with specialists to try to explain his acting out.
The report identifies several factors, such as low self-esteem self, narcissistic traits and possibly an unconscious attempt to extricate himself from a life based on performance and image, cut off from his emotional world since childhood, which makes him deeply unfortunate.
Thierry Pellerin (file photo)
His lawyer, Me Mathieu Giroux, had also argued that his crimes had been committed more to sabotage his career and get out of it, than for sexual interests.
He had asked the judge to promote the social reintegration of his client, by imposing on him a maximum of two years.
The prosecutor, Me Geneviève Corriveau, had for her part demanded between seven and eight years in prison, a proposal that the magistrate considers too high.
Without diminishing the seriousness of the offenses committed , insists the judge, he considers that the sentence suggested by the prosecution corresponds more to cases where there has been sexual contact or assault, or for repeat offenders.
Judge Morand therefore considers that the five-year sentence corresponds to the seriousness of the acts committed by Pellerin, without overshadowing his social reintegration.
He is sentenced to two years in prison for the offenses of computer luring and invitation to sexual touching.
The judge adds two years for the production of child pornography and a additional year for his possession.
In addition to detention, Thierry Pellerin will be placed on the sex offenders register for 20 years.
A once released, he may not go to parks, public swimming pools or other places frequented by children under the age of 16, for a period of 10 years.
In addition, he will not be permitted to hold any position, whether paid or unpaid, that would place him in a position of authority or trust over children.
His internet access will also be limited.