Foster parents sentenced for sexually abusing children
A Laval couple has been sentenced to ten and eight years in prison for sexually and physically abusing foster children.
Jacques Laporte and Micheline Charland-Laporte were also confronted with new charges on Thursday when they appeared in court, and they pleaded guilty to physically and sexually abusing a man, now in his forties, who was their foster child in the 1970s.
The Laportes admitted earlier this year to 22 separate charges of abuse against five children.
The victims cannot be identified because they were all minors, some as young as six years old, when the crimes began.
One victim said the Laportes repeatedly flogged him with a belt until he bled as punishment for not making his bed properly or for not sweeping the floor.
Two sisters said they were sexually assaulted from the time they were six and nine years old, with the abuse continuing for a decade.
"I was just nine when I lost my childhood," said one victim. "I was living under constant fear whenever I was in bed or asleep. I lost my virginity at an age when girls my age still played with dolls."
Before handing down their sentences, the judge said the court must take exception to the couple continually denying what had taken place despite overwhelming evidence.
"You were supposed to protect these children," said the judge. "Instead, you used them for sex and destroyed them in the process."
To date at least six victims have come forward to accuse the foster parents of abusing them in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
This is the second conviction for Jacques Laporte, now 75 years old. In 2012 he was sentenced to 42 months in jail for abusing other foster children in his care.
Meanwhile Micheline Charland-Laporte, 71, was asked to explain some of the statements she had made while in custody.
Charland-Laporte said she had been harassed by other inmates from the moment she was placed in detention in March.
Subject to threats, Charland-Laporte told the other prisoners that even though she had pleaded guilty she had not committed the crimes.
In court on Thursday she told the judge she lied in order to minimize the threat of being hurt.
Since she's been in custody Charland-Laporte has been the subject of extra prison security in order to protect her from other inmates.