Thursday, September 28, 2023

High school sex crimes: she testifies against accused ex-basketball coach

A vulnerable youth who was allegedly sexually abused by a Saint-Laurent high school basketball coach took the witness stand Tuesday to recount the crimes he allegedly suffered.

Standing straight, head held high, the young woman swore to tell the whole truth, a few feet from Daniel Lacasse, this Tuesday, in the Montreal court.

Lacasse, 44, returned to court to undergo a preliminary investigation for sexual contact he made against a minor from 2010 to 2012, when he was the head of the school’s girls basketball program. Saint-Laurent secondary school.

In the order of the court, it is forbidden to identify the victim, who was vulnerable at that time. A publication ban also prevents, at this stage of the proceedings, from reporting the content of the testimony presented before Judge Suzanne Costom.

However, we can emphasize that Lacasse, accompanied by a woman, listened carefully to the evidence presented by Mr.e Jérôme Laflamme of the Crown.

Lacasse has been suspended without pay from the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Service Center since his arrest for sexual exploitation in February 2022. The school’s two other basketball coaches were also handcuffed. Charles-Xavier Boislard and Robert Luu will undergo their respective trials at a later date.

Harmful climate

Without waiting for the legal outcome of these three cases, the Ministry of Education launched an investigation after the arrest of the trio in February 2022.

The results show a harmful climate among basketball players in this school, with inappropriate behavior that goes unreported.

In the document obtained by the Quebecor Investigation Bureau, it is also shown that reports often remain ignored, due to a lack of communication between stakeholders.

“Therefore a coach can gather reports about unacceptable behavior (…) that cannot be the subject of any particular examination,” the ministry reprimanded.

One of the ministry’s recommendations is to better equip service centers and school federations to change cultures and better protect young people.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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