The following is the email exchange between John Derek Lapointe, victim of Father Charles Picot, and officials with the New Brunswick Department of Justice.
From: “Justice Comments / Questions (JUS)” <JUSCom@gnb.ca>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 18:21:24
Subject: RE: Picot Trial
Dear Mr. Lapointe,
This is in response to the e-mail you forwarded on September 12th, we wanted to make inquiries of various officials before a response was provided to you.
We acknowledge that the criminal court process is oftentimes extremely stressful, and especially so for victims of crime.
We will try to address the points that you have raised in your correspondence, each in turn.
First, the matter of providing interpretation services and the difficulties encountered in following the proceedings. It is our understanding that this matter was a subject of a complaint to the Office of the Commissioner for Official Languages, and that you have received a copy of the Commissioner’s report. As such, there is little that we can add to that discussion, other than the Crown Prosecutor indicated that he was not informed of your concerns at the time. Mr. Doucet indicated that he had spoken to you to explain what was taking place in the courtroom as the matter proceeded.
In terms of the sentence that was imposed against Mr. Picot, we can offer no comment. The judicial function is one that must be free from influence, including influence from the Minister of Justice and Consumer Affairs and Attorney General. We do recognize the need to deal more effectively with those who abuse positions of authority and we will continue to advocate for penalties that reflect this stance. We did note that Mr. Picot was ordered to register with the sex offender registry for a period of 20 years, and that Victim Services provided you with information as to charge disposition information.
We also made inquiries of the Victim Services Section of the Department of Public Safety and was informed that a referral for their services was only received at the Victim Impact Statement stage. It is also our understanding that you would have been eligible for referral to Victim Services in respect of court preparation or victim support, and that these options were provided to you by the Crown Prosecutor.
We understand that you have been forwarded an application for victim compensation, but that Victim Services has not yet received your completed application.
Please be assured that we are sympathetic to your concerns, and we will look for ways to lessen the stress that victims experience as a result of their involvement in the criminal court process.
We hope that you will submit your application for crime compensation without delay to the NB Department of Public Safety.
From: JOHN DEREK LaPOINTE [mailto:xxxx]
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 11:56 AM
To: Justice Comments / Questions (JUS)
Subject: Picot Trial
In January of this year I traveled from Mississauga to Campbellton NB to attend the trial of a priest who had sexually abused me as a teenager.
The accused chose to have the trial in french.
I understand words and phrases in this language only.
The first day of trial an interpreter was there but was unable to help me much as a result of the PA system being shut off.
The second day of the trial I had no translation.
I did not understood enough of what was being said to be able to fully comprehend. This caused me undue stress. I dealt with it as best as I could.
I am angry that it seemed so unimportant to those conducting the trial that I be able to hear and understand.
The priest was found guilty and was sentenced this past August 23rd. Once again I traveled to NB and once again there was no translation available.
I feel very strongly that my basic rights were violated by this lack of action. NB is said to be officially bilingual. It was not for me.
It also concerns me that an authority figure can harm a young person in their care and be handed an 8 month sentence.
The defense stated after the sentence that the crime was on the lower scale.
I wonder if this man would be willing to have Mr. Picot take his boys on an overnight trip somewhere?
While I have no plans to collapse emotionally, I deserved better than I got.
I truly ask you to re-examine the laws in regard to sexual abuse of children.
Any authority figure who harms a child must be held fully accountable.
If children are our future, we must send a message to abusers that they will pay dearly for their acts.
I was fortunate to be ale to recover. Many men have been devastated by their abusers.
Some have taken their own lives.
I would like to talk with you in regards to this topic (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network