Guilty of indecent assault and assault

News 11 December, 2017
  • Archival Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin
    Gilles Cloutier

    Éric Thibault

    Monday, December 11, 2017 16:35

    Monday, December 11, 2017 16:35

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    One of the witnesses to the stars of the Charbonneau commission has been found guilty on Monday of sexual and physical abuse on two young girls to whom he has imposed chores and punishments cruel.

    The former political organizer Gilles Cloutier, 77 years of age, received without flinching the guilty verdicts rendered by the judge Maria Albanese in the face of accusations of assault on two minor and indecent assault on one of them, at the palais de justice in Saint-Jérôme.

    The crimes date back to the late 60’s and early 70’s, when Cloutier was employed at the ministry of Transport.

    To knees

    The complainants were aged between eight and 12 years, and lived in the entourage of Cloutier at the time of the offences.

    His victims have said that they have decided to denounce it to the police after seeing Cloutier on tv, in the spring of 2013, testifying at the Charbonneau commission of wheeling and dealing policies with which he took part or which he was witness.

    According to them, Cloutier commanded them “full of chores” in the middle of the night, as his shoes shined. He was forced to his knees during “hours”.

    “If I fell asleep on his knees, it gave me a kick or a slap with the back of the hand,” testified one of them, adding that Cloutier has already been sent in punishment outside for 15 minutes, in the middle of winter, wearing a simple pajamas and his boots.

    Just in February

    One of the complainants said she never forgot the smell of the cream to the beard with which Cloutier has coated the genitals with his hand, after sitting on the counter of the bathroom. “After that, he told me, ‘Go wash'”, she declared tearfully in court.

    At trial, Cloutier pleaded his innocence. At most, he admitted to have beaten his hand to the shoulders or on the cheeks to punish them. He claimed that the victims had been “exaggerated” and that they were “motivated by revenge”.

    The judge Albanese concluded, however, that the testimony of Cloutier, who provided different versions to the police and at trial, has not raised any reasonable doubt in his mind. Gilles Cloutier will return to court in February next to receive his sentence.

    Prosecutors for the prosecution, Caroline Lafleur, and defence, Simon Dolci, did not indicate that Cloutier was at risk of prison. They will attempt to agree on a sentence to suggest to the court.