After being sexually assaulted over 30 years ago, Derek LaPointe speaks out
Times and Transcript (New Brunswick)
Published Tuesday July 26th, 2011
by Adam Huras
Times & Transcript Staff
Adam Huras/Canadaeast News Service
Former Dalhousie priest Charles Picot attempts to evade media after exiting court in Campbellton last Friday. Picot was found guilty in May of indecent assault arising from the incident that happened more than 30 years ago. Sentencing was expected on Friday, but has been adjourned until Aug. 23.
CAMPBELLTON – A victim of sexual assault is calling for more rehabilitation for sex offenders, citing jail sentences that are too short to curb illicit behavior.
Derek LaPointe, who has now broken his own silence after being sexually assaulted by a northern New Brunswick priest more than three decades ago, hopes to spur a chorus of victim’s voices and in turn tougher laws.
“I have chosen to speak out in the hope that others who have been abused will gain courage and speak out as well,” LaPointe said. “It may be wishful thinking, but I also hope that lawmakers will take notice and stiffen the laws.”
LaPointe went to police more than a year ago to finally recall what happened when he was in his early teens.
In court he testified that he met priest Charles Picot while a boy scout at about 14 years old.
Picot had invited him into the church rectory. He sat LaPointe on his lap and shortly thereafter put his hand down the front of LaPointe’s pants and groped the boy.
Picot was found guilty in May of indecent assault for the incident that happened more than 30 years ago. Sentencing was set for last Friday, but has been adjourned until Aug. 23.
LaPointe said Crown prosecutor François Doucet has cautioned him that the sentence will likely only be a few months of jail time. “It troubles me that Picot is expected to get very little time,” LaPointe said. “He needs help and probably will not get much in only a few months.”
Between 1975 and 1993, Father Charles Picot served as a priest in parishes across northern N.B., including Dalhousie, Campbellton, Lamèque and Bathurst.
In 1993, he served seven months in jail for two counts of sexual assault and one of indecent assault.
“My point is not to throw Charles Picot away, lock the door and throw away the key,” LaPointe said. “I want the best for everybody and he has a track record of abusing people so putting him in jail for only a few months in what is a glorified time out, it’s just a waste of time.
“I don’t want to see this man suffer, there’s no point in that, I want something practical done rather than just have a judge rule to get it off the book.”
Sexual assault victims have also come forward in other cases.
The Bathurst diocese agreed in 2010 to offer financial settlements and formal apologies to at least 35 sexual assault victims of disgraced priest Lévi Noël and others.
Noël, a retired northern N.B. priest, pleaded guilty just a year before to 22 sex-related charges involving 18 boys stemming as far back as the 1950s. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.