DYP of Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec | A teenager sexually assaulted by her counselor

A teenage girl from the DPJ was sexually assaulted by a worker at the center where she was housed, reveals a court decision. The file is on the desk of the national director of youth protection.

The child was 14 years old at the time of the facts, on November 18, 2022. She had just been discharged from the hospital and was in a vehicle with an employee of the DPJ of Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec who was to take her back to the center where she lived.

“On the way back, the intervention officer puts his hand on his thigh. He stops the motor vehicle in a street to kiss her on the mouth with his tongue, touch her breasts, her buttocks, take the opportunity to put his hand in her underwear and finger her,” writes judge Marie-Pierre Jutras. , of the Court of Quebec, in a decision dated January, but made public this week.

“He threatens the young person to attack her siblings, her family or herself if she were to reveal the facts,” continues the judgment, pronounced in Drummondville. “After telling her to contain her emotions, he takes her back to the rehabilitation center. »

The teenager reported him the next day. She was questioned by police 12 days later. The man was fired, arrested and now faces criminal charges.

Even though her trial did not take place, Judge Jutras found that the sexual assault had been proven “by preponderance” for the purposes of her analysis. It was, in relation to the teenager, “a person in authority whose main task was to protect her”, she underlined.

Infringed rights

These events ended up before the courts because the teenager and her lawyer, Me Audrey Fortier-Laperle, asked the Court of Quebec to recognize that her rights had been violated by the DPJ.

The judge agreed with their arguments: “the Director did not ensure the protection and safety of the teenager since she was sexually abused by a working intervention agent while she was in the care of to a rehabilitation center,” she concluded.

Me Fortier-Laperle did not want to comment on the matter.

The parents’ lawyers did not return calls. The Press. The father “made his daughter vape THC during supervised contact, which seems unimaginable, but it is a fact”, relates Judge Jutras.

“Considering that the case is still pending in court, we will not make any comments for the moment,” indicated Guillaume Cliche of the CIUSSS de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec.

In rendering her decision, the judge ordered that a copy be personally sent to the head of the regional DPJ, but also to the national director of youth protection Catherine Lemay. Thursday, she did not respond to the interview request from The Press about this file.

” Problematic “

According to two observers from the world of youth protection, this case is far from unique.

Speaker Nancy Audet, herself a former child of the DPJ, was not surprised to read that a teenage girl had been sexually assaulted by a youth center employee.

This is a “very important” subject, said the woman who is also godmother of the DPJ Children’s Foundation.

“Often, there are dismissals, but there are no consequences,” lamented M.me Audet, adding that the filing of charges in the current case was “very, very, very good news.”

Me Sophie Papillon is a lawyer specializing in youth protection. She has been particularly interested, for several years, in the procedure by which children of the DPJ can have their rights recognized by the system.

Judgments of this type concerning sexual assaults by DPJ employees, “there are more and more of them, it seems,” argued the lawyer. “It’s not common, but it’s a problem that exists, sexual abuse in rehabilitation centers by people in positions of authority. »

Me Papillon considers sending a copy of the decision to the national director of youth protection “interesting” and “new”, but this decision does not repair the damage. “A child was sexually abused in a rehabilitation center and she effectively has no reparation other than the judgment itself,” lamented the lawyer. “This is, in my opinion, problematic. »

According to Judge Jutras’ decision, the teenager at the center of the case had suicidal thoughts after the incident, but she was getting better.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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