Ville de Gatineau
Arrest of Michel Vanier on sexual assault charges
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Ville de Gatineau
News release
Arrest of Michel Vanier on sexual assault charges

Gatineau, October 26, 2018 – The Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau (SPVG) has arrested Michel Vanier, a 48 year-old Gatineau resident, in connection with a sexual assault of an adolescent using paratransit. Further to its investigation, the SPVG has reason to believe that Mr. Vanier may have assaulted other victims.

In brief

The SPVG received a complaint to the effect that a person with severe physical and intellectual disabilities had been a victim of sexual assault.
Further to the investigation, the SPVG arrested Michel Vanier on Monday, October 22. He appeared on October 23 to answer charges of sexual exploitation and indecent acts. He was released that same day subject to strict conditions, including:
- he is prohibited from being in the presence of minors unless there is a responsible person present;
- he is prohibited from being in a park or any public area or swimming area where there may be children under 16 years of age;
- he is prohibited from being in a daycare, on school grounds, in a playground or in a community centre;
- he is prohibited from applying for, accepting or holding paid or other employment that would put him in a relationship of trust or authority with vulnerable persons;
- he is prohibited from having contact with any person under 18 years of age unless it is under the supervision of a person deemed acceptable by the Court; and
- he is prohibited from being in a paratransit vehicle.
At the time of the events, Mr. Vanier was a driver for Taxi Loyal, a sub-contractor providing paratransit services for the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO).
From the start, the STO and Taxi Loyal offered there full and complete collaboration leading to key information that helped move the investigation along swiftly in the public interest.
During the investigation, the SPVG identified two more recent cases that may be related. The investigators have reason to believe that Michel Vanier may have assaulted others.
Mr. Vanier may have been employed by other taxi companies before working for Taxi Loyal. The investigation continues. For the time being, there is no information that would help determine whether the suspect may have committed crimes elsewhere than in Gatineau.

Modus operandi

At this point, the SPVG has reason to believe that the suspect's presumed victims are women with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
The presumed victims would range from teenagers to women in their fifties.
The assaults would have happened while the presumed victims were using paratransit services.

Search for victims

Given that some of the victims may have difficulty expressing themselves, the SPVG asks workers and other persons close to vulnerable persons to check on their physical or mental well-being. Any unexplained injuries or abnormal behaviour of a vulnerable person should be reported so that the matter can be investigated.
The accused may also have assaulted other persons who are not considered vulnerable persons.
The SPVG asks anyone who has witnessed or been the victim of a sexual assault to contact SPVG investigators at 819-243-INFO (4636), option 5.

Investigating serial crimes

In accordance with the Police Act, the SPVG promptly informed the Sûreté du Québec that several cases of sexual assault may be related, and that there may be additional victims.
Consequently, the structure de gestion des enquêtes sur les crimes en série (GECS), coordinated by the Sûreté du Québec, was deployed.
The GECS is a unified command structure within which Quebec police forces work in partnership to swiftly identify crimes committed by predators and to proceed with their arrest. This provincial coordination is a way to pool police resources and provide better protection for victims.
The Gatineau Police Service leads the investigation and collaborates closely with the SQ. Further charges may be forthcoming.


Images

Mr Michel Vanier
Paratransit
– 30 –
     
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Published by
Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau
Source
Andrée East
Agente relationniste
Service de police
Ville de Gatineau
east.andree@gatineau.ca
@policegatineau

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 285 000 habitants. Elle est située sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, et s'étend à l'est et à l'ouest de la rivière Gatineau.

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