Adult in love with teenager will face second trial
The Court of Appeal overturns the decision of a Gatineau judge who acquitted a 36-year-old adult in love with a teenage girl.
Share November 15, 2020 10:23 p.m. Share An adult in love with a teenager will undergo a second trial
Louis-Denis Ebacher Le Droit The Court of Appeal overturns the decision of a Gatineau judge who acquitted a 36-year-old adult in love with a teenage girl.
The man was so obsessed with the teenager, that he tracked her on social media to better follow her in her activities.
Jérôme André Morrissette was cleared across the board in February 2019, when Judge Alexandra Marcil raised a reasonable doubt in her case. The Court of Appeal ordered a second trial last Wednesday.
The Gatineau resident was charged with three counts of harassment and one count of possession of child pornography.
The relentlessness of the adult began in 2014 when the girl was 13 years old.
The Gatineau resident not only showed up at his residence to try to charm her, but he closely monitored the young girl's social media accounts, in order to know her movements or her activities for the next few days.
This is how he moved to see her, even if the latter refused any contact with him.
His parents called on the adult to turn back when he “dressed up” during a visit to the family home on Valentine's Day.
In the case of child pornography, Justice Alexandra Marcil concluded that the Crown had not laid a charge reflecting the actions of the accused. The latter may have “accessed” child pornography, but was not in his “possession”.
Regarding the three counts of criminal harassment, the magistrate explained that one could not criminalize an individual for his only thoughts, which he wrote in his diary. The accused allegedly left the scene whenever asked to do so.
According to the Court of Appeal, the trial judge did not provide sufficient explanation of her reasonable doubt related to criminal harassment.
According to the three judges of the Court of Appeal, the judge of the Court of Quebec “confused the elements of repeated communications and the elements of threatening conduct (article 264 of the Criminal Code).”
The Crown's evidence must prove that the prohibited conduct “tormented, troubled, continually or chronically worried, tormented and harassed”.
The court summarizes the definition of the verb “harass” in the Le Grand Robert dictionary. “Harassment can just as easily mean annoying (someone with requests, solicitations, inducements.”