A “guardian angel” sexually assaults a lady in a CHSLD

A “guardian angel” trained quickly as a beneficiary attendant during the pandemic took advantage of his position in a CHSLD to sexually assault an 84-year-old patient. Rodrigo Ivan Rojas did not feel like he was harming his victim, who even appreciated his “care”, according to him.

What there is to know

  • Rodrigo Ivan Rojas sexually assaulted an 84-year-old patient in a CHSLD in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
  • The accused had received accelerated training during the pandemic to become a beneficiary attendant.
  • He was sentenced Monday to 27 months in prison.

“Sir, you have been entrusted with a very important position of trust. This is an essential job in healthcare. And you have dishonored all those who agree to occupy this essential job with dedication,” lectured Judge Christian M. Tremblay.

Rodrigo Ivan Rojas pleaded guilty Monday at the Montreal courthouse to a charge of sexual assault. The judge imposed a sentence of 27 months in detention, suggested by the parties. In fact, he only has one day left in prison, as he has been detained since his arrest in 2022.

The 49-year-old ex-banker responded to François Legault’s call during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was one of the thousands of Quebecers who received accelerated training to lend a hand as a beneficiary attendant. He was therefore hired at the CHSLD of Sainte-Anne hospital, in the west of Montreal.

In December 2021, Rodrigo Ivan Rojas attacked a vulnerable 84-year-old patient during the night. He signaled her to be quiet and sexually assaulted her by penetrating her. The woman, whose identity is protected, said she was afraid of him. She will report him to her family two days later. The employee’s DNA was found on the bed.

Rodrigo Ivan Rojas admitted to only one assault on Monday. However, according to the evidence at the release inquiry, the accused admitted to the police that he had sexually assaulted the victim on around twenty occasions. Surprisingly, he added that the victim was “very receptive” to sexual acts.

The 84-year-old victim not only had a mobility problem, but also had great difficulty speaking.

“Monsieur will explain (…) that he gave her pleasure, that he masturbated her, that he did his best to be professional (…). He detected pleasure in Madame in her non-verbal nature, since she was not very talkative. That she seemed comfortable with the way she was holding on to him,” recounted Crown prosecutor M.e Jérôme Laflamme during the investigation into his release in October 2022.

The judge seemed shocked

Questioned by the police after his arrest, Rodrigo Ivan Rojas detailed the sexual gestures he regularly committed towards the victim. During the interrogation, he struggled to understand what he had done wrong and said he had “done nothing different than the other times”, according to the Crown’s evidence.

“He told (the police) that he did not put on a condom because he did not feel like he was doing her any harm, that he had not done anything against her will,” explained M.e Laflamme during the release investigation. Let us point out that these latter facts have not been proven during a trial.

This common suggestion of 27 months of detention stems from “long, long” discussions between the parties, insisted M.e Laflamme Thursday. The death of the victim in recent months would have complicated the presentation of evidence at trial.

Judge Tremblay seemed shocked by the circumstances of the crime.

She is an 84-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted in her sleep by an employee she should have trusted.

Judge Christian M. Tremblay

Both the Crown prosecutor and the judge noted the pandemic context of the attack. Even the defense lawyer, Mr.e Francis Leborgne mentioned that the accelerated training given to beneficiary attendants had been too “rapid”.


The defense lawyer, Mr.e Francis Leborgne

“Not sure it’s a question of training,” replied Judge Tremblay.

“Maybe too quickly to filter the right people,” retorted the defense lawyer.

No criminal record

As mitigating factors, the judge took into account the absence of a criminal record and the accused’s admission of guilt.

The woman’s relatives did not wish to address the court.

“The end of the lives of their mother and their grandmother was difficult in the circumstances”, underlined Me The flame.

“I have a lot of empathy for the victim and her family,” insisted the judge.

Rodrigo Ivan Rojas is not quite finished with justice. He is due back in court next month to determine whether he will have to register with the Sex Offenders Registry.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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