Search for Victims of Assault and Sexual Touching
Gatineau, April 16, 2019. –
On March 13, the Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau (SPVG) arrested Vincent Vachon, a 41 year-old resident of Gatineau, on charges of sexual assault, sexual touching, invitation to sexual touching and child luring. The SPVG has reason to believe that there may be more victims of Mr. Vachon in other parts of Quebec and Ontario, and would like them to file a report.
|●||The incidents allegedly began around 2009. At the time, Mr. Vachon was living in Toronto and was 32 years old.|
|●||Mr. Vachon allegedly contacted his victim through the Outaouais Web online network, which was very popular among teens at the time.|
|●||From the start, the victim had indicated that she was under 16 years of age. Mr. Vachon nonetheless continued communicating with her, despite the age difference, and arranged for them to meet.|
|●||The first encounter between the accused and his victim occurred in a public place in Gatineau after several months of correspondence on Outaouais Web.|
|●||The first sexual assault occurred during that first encounter.|
- A series of additional sexual encounters followed, prompted by emotional blackmail and psychological abuse.
|●||This illegal relationship extended over two years, at which point the victim ended it, but did not file a police report.|
|●||After she became fully aware of what had happened to her, and found the courage to break her silence, the victim filed a report with the SPVG in 2018.|
|●||Following his arrest, Mr. Vachon was interviewed by investigators, and appeared before the Court of Quebec.|
|●||Vincent Vachon was subsequently released on several conditions, including the following:|
- prohibited from being in the presence of or in contact with a minor;
- prohibited from being a public park or a public area where there might be a minor; and
- prohibited from using the Internet.
|●||Based on the evidence collected during the police investigation, the SPVG has reason to believe that there may be other victims of Mr. Vachon in Gatineau, elsewhere in Quebec and in Ontario. Thus, the SPVG asks that anyone who may have been a victim of Mr. Vachon or who might have information about him, contact an investigator at 819-243-2346, extension 6040.|
Quote by officer Renée-Anne St-Amant
“The process of reporting a sexual assault can be long and difficult for the victims, who may be overwhelmed by a host of feelings ranging from guilt, to shame to confusion. Add to that all the myths and prejudices they have to face and that could make them reluctant to break their silence. Yet, victims should never feel guilty for what happened to them, particularly when an older person has taken advantage of their youthful naivete. We know that the decision to file a report is not easy given the many consequences of assault. Nonetheless, we ask anyone who believes that they were a victim of Mr. Vachon or any other person to contact our investigators, who will take their deposition without judgement. Investigators work in cooperation with specialized resources, which offer victims the support and assistance they often need to get through the judicial process. It is important to realize that there is no statute of limitations on such offences. Whether an assault dates back 5, 10 or 15 years makes no difference, because we know that victims of sexual assault may need time to drum up the courage to act.”
|●||The SPVG asks parents and teens to be particularly prudent when using the Internet or chat and photo apps.|
|●||Having a vigilant adult presence around them is essential to ensuring the safety of children:|
- it is important to talk to young people about their Internet activities, how they use it, and their friends, as well as to show an interest in their activities;
- it is essential to review the basic rules about safe disclosure of personal information online;
- young people should feel comfortable telling a trusted adult about any situation or exchange that disturbed them or made them uncomfortable;
- young people should never send photos of themselves to a stranger without first consulting an adult; and
- young people should never agree to meet with someone they only know through the Internet without having an adult present.
|●||Installing parental software is an additional way to supervise the Internet activities of young people.|
Centre d'aide et de lutte contre les agressions sexuelles de l'Outaouais
Sexual assault: taking action years later