Simon Houle, already sentenced to 12 months in prison for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman and taking pictures of her private parts, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to failing to comply with his probation conditions during a trip to Cuba in the summer of 2022.

“Yes, I recognize the facts,” said the accused during his appearance by videoconference at the Saint-Jérôme courthouse on Wednesday morning.

Simon Houle, this engineer who had first received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault and voyeurism in June 2022, had made a trip to Cuba the following month, during his period of probation.

This stay had resulted in another denunciation of a sexual nature, on the part of a woman who had filed a complaint with the police for touching that she would have suffered from him.

Simon Houle had grabbed her buttocks without her consent in a bar in Cayo Coco, Cuba, the woman claimed.

The conditional discharge enjoyed by Simon Houle was accompanied by a three-year probation order with several conditions, including “not to disturb public order and to be of good conduct”.

“I admit that I broke my order to keep the peace,” admitted the defendant from the Roberval detention center, where he appeared sporting a black t-shirt and his hair tied behind his head.

This apparent recidivism had added to the outcry triggered by the conditional discharge Mr. Houle then enjoyed. This first judgment, which had been rendered by the Court of Quebec, was finally overturned on appeal last January. Simon Houle was then sentenced to 12 months in prison for sexual assault, as well as a second sentence, to be served concurrently, of two months for voyeurism.

On the other hand, the touching that would have occurred in Cuba cannot give rise to charges of sexual assault in Canada, because the Criminal Code does not give rise to charges of this nature for acts taking place between adults outside the country.

Simon Houle was therefore sentenced on Wednesday to 75 hours of community service, which he will have to perform after his release. The court imposed an 18-month probation period on him, during which he must meet several conditions, including those of keeping the peace and having good behavior. This was a joint suggestion of the parties.