Engineer Simon Houle, sentenced to one year in prison for sexual assault and voyeurism, has just obtained his parole after three months behind bars. He now admits to having a “sexual problem”.
“The Simon Houle case” caused an uproar last summer when the engineer was granted a conditional discharge, a very light sentence, despite the gravity of his crimes. The Court of Appeal had come to reverse this decision which had drawn much criticism by imposing on Simon Houle a sentence of 12 months in prison, last January.
Simon Houle sexually assaulted a friend at a party in April 2019. The woman woke up, dazzled by the light from a device. Simon Houle was then introducing his fingers into the victim’s vagina, making a back and forth motion. The woman’s camisole was up and her bra was undone.
The victim had taken refuge in the kitchen, but Simon Houle had shown “relentlessness” by photographing her private parts nine times in two places in the apartment. Simon Houle had kept his photos for a long time and had shown them to a friend, an aggravating factor, according to the Court of Appeal.
After being discharged, Simon Houle breached the terms of his probation by attacking a woman during a trip to Cuba in the summer of 2022. He was given community service last month in Saint-Jérôme courthouse.
In this regard, Simon Houle explains his gesture towards this woman by his impulsive reaction, his advanced state of intoxication and his difficulties in interpreting consent, indicates the decision of the Parole Board.
“According to the writer of the update, these offenses are part of the same behavioral dynamic and support the need for a therapeutic sexual need,” the decision reads.
The Commission considers several unfavorable factors against Simon Houle, including his excessive consumption of alcohol, his flagrant lack of judgment, his lack of concern for the consequences for others and the lasting consequences for the victims.
Nonetheless, the Commission grants Simon Houle a preparatory release for parole, noting the deterrent element of a first prison sentence, his progress through therapy, and the fact that he now takes full blame for his gestures.
“You acknowledge all of your inappropriate behaviors, including those for which you have not been charged or found guilty. You assess having a sexual problem […] You associate your non-compliance with the conditions with a relapse into alcohol consumption, ”indicates the Commission.