Should a pedophile who will be deported from the country upon release from prison receive a more lenient sentence because his detention is expensive for the state? This is one of the arguments made by his lawyer to justify a five-year sentence for a man who raped a young girl for years.

“Each inmate costs Canadian society a fortune. We are short of employees, we are currently in a situation of conflict with federal employees, and there, we are going to propose a sentence to a judge saying, “Aren’t you taking care of that?” I don’t think we can do that, “said Me Marc Labelle Thursday during the observations on the sentence of Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete, at the Montreal courthouse.

The 42-year-old Montrealer was convicted by a jury earlier this month of severely degrading sexual abuse of a victim between the ages of 11 and 14. In particular, the attacker celebrated the loss of the victim’s “virginity”. “My childhood was stolen from me,” the 16-year-old testified at trial.

As he is a permanent resident, this Chilean of origin is guaranteed to be expelled from Canada at the end of his sentence, agree the parties. Thus, he will not be eligible for parole and will have to spend his entire sentence behind bars. Only a tiny fraction of offenders suffer such a fate, since parole is automatic at two-thirds of the sentence.

“If you say, ‘I don’t have to take into account that he’s going to be deported, that he’s going to have to serve all his time,’ my suggestion doesn’t hold up. It has to be higher, more around six years,” said Labelle, who believes that his suggestion nevertheless sends “a clear message” to the public.

A substantial sentence of nine years’ imprisonment is requested by the public prosecutor’s office in view of the many aggravating factors: very serious sexual acts, including anal intercourse, the frequency of the assaults, the age of the victim, the extent of the sequelae and the “manipulation” exercised by the accused. The prosecutor also pointed to the fact that Poblete had tried to have the victim’s complaint withdrawn, “highly reprehensible” behavior.

Now 16, the victim showed “extreme courage” to denounce her executioner and tell her story to the jury, Nadine Haviernick insisted after the verdict. Insomnia, anxiety, school difficulties, guilt: the teenager is however branded with a hot iron by the horrors she has suffered.

“I felt guilty, even though I didn’t have to. I felt dirty. All this time I was just a kid being manipulated. […] I would like to remove all these traumatic thoughts from my youth. But it’s hard when you’ve been through so many dark and abnormal things for a child, a child who didn’t ask to be molested,” the teenager said in a harrowing letter read to the court by the court. prosecutor.

In his letter, the victim addressed the 11-year-old girl she was a few years ago. “If I could talk to her, I would have told her to talk about it, that you shouldn’t be afraid, that she’s stronger than she thinks. That she shouldn’t feel guilty, because it’s not her fault. »

On a note of hope, the teenager added that this outcome finally allows, today, to “give peace to the little girl inside” of her. “From today, I can believe in myself more. Finally, I feel that I am free from this big sin that is not mine,” she concluded.

The judge will deliver his decision on May 11.