A man who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in an alley and gave her chlamydia was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Thursday, despite a “very high” risk of recidivism. A lenient sentence which is explained by the intellectual disability and the cultural uprooting of Medgino Andre.
“If it hadn’t been for this context, the sentence would have been much more severe,” insisted Judge Robert Marchi, endorsing the suggested sentence presented by the lawyers Thursday at the Montreal courthouse. “We are all born equal, but it does not last long…”, concluded the judge, referring to the difficult life of the accused.
Medgino Andre gave a teenage girl who happened to meet her by chance a nightmare in October 2020. After exchanging her phone number with the man around 5 p.m., the teenager left to babysit. Then, around 11 p.m., she meets Medgino Andre again on her way home.
As soon as the victim approaches him, Medgino Andre takes her by the hips, puts his hand in her panties and sexually assaults her by penetrating her, while he holds her hands behind her back. The assailant transmits chlamydia to his victim during the attack. While the victim is in the hospital, Medgino Andre even tries to silence her.
“I can’t imagine… at 15, [an assault with] penetration, on the street, at 11:00 at night. It’s hard to imagine a more difficult scenario,” Judge Marchi summed up. “[The accused] ticks just about all the boxes of aggravating factors,” added the magistrate.
The consequences were dramatic for the teenager: pain, poor school results, taking medication, hypervigilance. “I’m always scared when I’m on the street. I always watch who is behind me,” she wrote in a statement read by the judge.
In another case, Medgino Andre abused a young girl for years, in addition to threatening to kill a woman. The child retains deep scars from these episodes of violence, said Crown prosecutor Me Carolyne Paquin.
The defendant’s assessment reports are “extremely negative”, Judge Marchi summed up. Experts conclude that there is a very high risk of recurrence. However, the reports help put the defendant’s journey into context, argued his lawyer, Samuel McAuliffe.
Medgino Andre had a “difficult” childhood in Haiti before coming to Canada in 2009, said McAuliffe. He could neither read nor write. In addition, he has an intellectual disability. His lawyer also refers to his “cultural and geographical uprooting”.
It is therefore taking into account these mitigating factors that the lawyers presented a joint suggestion of 54 months of detention, which was endorsed by the judge. As the accused has already been detained for more than two years, he has only 10 months left in prison to serve.