Thirteen years behind bars isn’t long enough for “monster” rapist Gilles Simard, say the nieces whose childhood he stole.
“We did get a lot of years compared to some that get very few, so we’re happy with that, but at the same time, we wish we could take him off the streets forever so that he can never hurt anybody,” said Germaine Gallant.
The courtroom heard gasps and relieved sighs as Judge Charles Hackland sentenced the 59-year-old pedophile to 13 years in jail, minus 47 days in pre-trial custody, on Wednesday.
“It was very nerve-wracking. Hearing everything again made it hit home,” said Gallant’s sister Johanne Leduc.
Simard “chose to brutalize and sexually assault” his nieces regularly from 1978 to 1986, “for his own gratification,” raping, starving and beating them, Hackland said.
“The abuse they suffered destroyed their childhood and has had a devastating impact on their personal relationships and on their career and educational and economic goals,” said Hackland.
Simard was their guardian when they were four and six years old following their mother’s nervous breakdown.
During that time, they were subjected to “horrific” abuse, said Hackland.
Both girls were beaten regularly while in Simard’s care; one child was taught masturbation, the other told Simard’s sexual advances were normal in families.
The Crown asked for 13 to 15 years behind bars.
Simard is currently serving a two-year sentence for possessing child porn.
Along with the prison term, Simard will have to join the sex offender registry “for the duration of your life,” Hackland told him.
In addition, he’s banned from possessing guns or ammunition for 10 years, and attending public parks or swimming areas where children under 16 are present, as well as schools, playgrounds, and daycare centres.
Simard also can’t work or serve in a volunteer capacity with children under 16 or communicate with them via computer.
“He can’t be around anybody or anything that has to do with children, anything. That was a great weight lifted off my shoulders right there alone,” said Leduc.
“Not being able to be around children, parks, anyone under 16, whether they’re related or not, that meant a great deal to me as well.”
In a rare move, the victims asked the court to rescind the publication ban so that Simard could be identified.
The sisters want Simard deemed a dangerous offender and locked up indefinitely.