The courts must send a strong message that sexual violence against children is unacceptable, the Crown argued on Friday, seeking 6 years in prison against a teacher who abused an 8-year-old student.
"She betrayed the trust of the victim, her parents, the school and all of society," prosecutor Me Claudia Ossio said Friday at the Laval courthouse.
Josianne Lévesque, 43, was a second-grade elementary school teacher in a Montreal college. She also helped with homework. And it was in this context that she sexually assaulted a student, only 8 years old.
The abuse lasted 17 months, until the child told his parents about it, even though Lévesque did everything to keep his crimes secret.
“This is extremely serious, these are heinous acts. She was supposed to help him, to move him forward in life, deplored Me Ossio. She acted to satisfy her own needs and emotional lack. »
Recalling the importance of protecting the most vulnerable in society, the prosecutor asked for an exemplary sentence. Because if the child has suffered significant psychological consequences, the parents are also victims.
"You have to send a deterrent message to society, and it must be strong," hammered the prosecutor.
In love "
In the dock, Lévesque did not say a word during the hearing. His lawyer, Me Francis Cloutier, for his part recognized that according to the Supreme Court, sexual crimes against minors should be severely punished.
But at the same time, he recalled that Lévesque had already begun his rehabilitation.
"She realizes she's affected the child's development, she's going to own up to her actions, there was never any question of her trying to walk away," he said.
Since her arrest in 2020, Lévesque has also taken several therapeutic steps to better understand why she believed she "fell in love" with the victim.
To promote the rehabilitation of his client, he thus suggested 25 months of incarceration, claiming that it was "lenient", but "personalized" to the profile of the fallen teacher.
Judge Serge Cimon will render his decision in October.