A special education technician who thought she was having a love affair with her 16-year-old student was instead sentenced to 40 months in prison for sexual assault.
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“The accused, a specialist educator trained to intervene with vulnerable young people, created a climate of dependency and took advantage of this situation” to attack her student, judge Sophie Lavergne lamented when sentencing Geneviève Rioux, Wednesday, at the court of Saint-Jérôme.
Last July, the 44-year-old confessed that in 2018 he had had more than five months of full-blown sex with the teen whose identity is protected by the court. He had developed a close relationship with his educator.
File photo, Facebook
She also wanted to stay in the young man’s life after he left the Polyvalente Sainte-Thérèse.
She took advantage of moments alone with him at home or in his car to attack him.
“Adolescent’s participation in sexual activity is not a mitigating factor,” contrary to what the defense was trying to argue, Judge Lavergne emphasized.
“The power imbalance invalidates consent,” she stressed, recalling that a minor cannot consent to sexual relations with a person in a position of authority.
Especially since the victim lives with multiple problems, which she says increases Rioux’s responsibility and moral guilt.
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Like Céline and René
During the observations on the sentence, the educator said that she fell in love with her student.
“It’s like my soul is in love with its soul,” she said.
She even wanted to put her relationship into perspective by comparing it with that of singer Céline Dion and her manager René Angélil.
Photo Martin Alarie
Geneviève Rioux, 44, upon her arrival at the Saint-Jérôme courthouse on Wednesday, shortly before she was sentenced to 40 months in prison.
However, the magistrate rejected this argument, even saying she saw “disturbing” elements in this speech.
“She continues to speak of an atypical romantic relationship to this day. She refers to this period of her life as a great heartbreak. What is disturbing and surprising to say the least is that these comments have been made in court for over two years now. [plus tard]’ she noted.
According to the judge, the fallen educator still has work to do to understand the concepts of free and informed consent.
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She starts again
Colleagues, school management, the victim’s grandfather and a first arrest: several people had pointed out to Rioux the inadequacy of the situation, Judge Lavergne said. “She has betrayed the trust of many.”
She then ignored her release terms to continue seeing and attacking the boy. Therefore, in 2019 he was handcuffed for the second time.
This non-compliance with the terms, which she had also pleaded guilty to, did not work in her favor. The defense’s proposal, which demanded 90 days in prison over the weekend, was also rejected by the magistrate, who found this punishment too lenient.
Photo Martin Alarie
Caroline Lafleur, Public Prosecutor
The judge instead sided with the Crown Prosecutor, Mrs.and Caroline Lafleur, who called for a deterrent punishment to deliver a clear message.
The special education technician is prohibited from occupying a job that would give her a position of authority after leaving the penitentiary. She will also be placed on the sex offender registry for life.