Well, Father Charles Picot is indeed appealing the conviction for the sex abuse of John Derek LaPointe.
Today I called the New Brunswick Court of Appeal to find out what is happening. I had heard that Picot’s appeal was to be heard 19 October 2011, but could find no trace of him on the Court of Appeal roster. As it turns out, Picot is keen to get out of jail as soon as possible. He will be filing a motion with the Court of Appeal for release (from jail) pending an appeal. I don’t believe the Court of Appeal has agreed to hear his appeal as yet – if they had there would be a date set for the appeal and as yet there is nothing.
Meanwhile Picot’s victim from that conviction has been in contact with the New Brunswick Department of Justice. Derek field a complaint regarding the lack of translation services at trial and sentencing and regarding the eight-month sentence handed down. He received a repsonse, unsigned mind you, but, none-the-less, a response. Here is the exchange:
Note that in regard to the translation services issue the claim is that “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. ”
If the Crown was not aware of Derek’s need for translation services why were arrangements made for a translator on day one of the trial? Who, if not the Crown, recognized the need for a translator? And why, when the PA system was shut off, thus rendering the translation ineffective, were the proceedings not put on hold until there was effective translation available for Derek?
And why, on Day Two, was there nothing?
Re Victim Services. Correct me if I am wrong Derek, but my understanding is that you contacted someone from Victim Services who promised to attend at the Sentencing hearing but never showed up? Is that right?
The only saving grace in all of this is that at least if the case goes back to trial Derek now knows his rights, and that officials presumably “will look for ways to lessen the stress that victims experience as a result of their involvement in the criminal court process.”
What does it take? What does it take for those within the system to understand that victims – like most us – generally know absolutely nothing of the criminal process or court procedure, and that they are literally scared to death. Rightly or wrongly they rely on the Crown to look after them.
Enough for now,