Gestures of a sexual nature: the fate of the teacher Richard Bélanger in the hands of the judge

Gestes à caractère sexuel: le sort de l’enseignant Richard Bélanger entre les mains du juge

The trial of Richard Belanger, a teacher accused of assault and sexual contact on someone under the age of 16 years, ended on Wednesday at the palais de justice to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.

December 11, 2019 23h22

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Gestures of a sexual nature: the fate of the teacher Richard Bélanger in the hands of the judge

Gestes à caractère sexuel: le sort de l’enseignant Richard Bélanger entre les mains du juge

Johanne Fournier

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SAINTE-ANNE-DES-MONTS — The trial of Richard Belanger, a teacher accused of assault and sexual contact on someone under the age of 16 years, ended on Wednesday at the palais de justice to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. The court took the cause under advisement. The judge Jules Berthelot will make its decision on 28 February.

On day 2 of his testimony, Richard Bélanger came to tell of his descent into the underworld in the days that followed the event for which a student of the École Gabriel-Le Courtois, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts has filed a complaint. This one occurred on 7 June 2018, while the man was alone with the teen in which he did not teach, but which he regarded himself as “someone in whom he had confidence, a model”. On this day, the teacher with a cumulative 28 years of experience has told them that as the young person was suffering from anxiety, it helped her to prepare an oral presentation in French. According to his story, the 55-year-old was back at the student, and when he woke up, he lost his balance and fell on him, both fists on his thighs. “It is accidental”, he said.

The following Monday, the student had to present his oral presentation in French, he learns that he is absent. He calls in to him and falls at his mother who tells him that he must know why his son is absent. “I told myself that I was going to have a complaint for assault, because I had fallen on him, he interpreted. After that, I don’t remember anything.” It was only 48 hours later, he picks up his spirits. He was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital. He remained there for 10 days for major depression.

“I left the hospital and, barely an hour after, the surete du Quebec arrives with us,” he says. They lead me to the position.” In his testimony, the teenager accuses him of having touched her genitals. “This is the most memorable moment of my entire personal and professional life”, he let it fall, sliding the glasses of water one after the other throughout his testimony.

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THE CREDIBILITY OF THE COMPLAINANT IN DOUBT

The Defence questioned the credibility of the complainant and the reliability of his testimony. The lawyer assumes that if the student filed his complaint on the Monday following the event, chided his client, it was not to be present at the oral presentation that the terrified and for which he was not ready. Me Yves Desaulniers has also alleged that the testimony of the complainant’s mother contradicted that of his son on some points. He asked the court to take into account the health condition of his client.

“We are in front of the conflicting testimony, argued Florence Frappier-Routhier on the side of the public ministry. Mr we are said to have been afraid of being accused of assault, then it says that the event is an accident. Mr. denies the obvious.” With respect to the testimony of the boy, she calls it “honest, credible, and direct”.

It also considers that the “dip” on the teenager is not realistic. “It takes a symmetry to fall upon the young man, ahead of the Crown prosecutor. This is not in our reflexes to fall on the fists.”

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