Carole Thomas pleads guilty to mischief, forgery for lying about sexual assault
Longueuil police brotherhood drops defamation suit after Thomas apologizes for 'unfair' comment about officer
A woman who claimed to have been sexually assaulted two days before Jenique Dalcourt's 2014 murder near the same spot in Longueuil has admitted she lied to police, pleading guilty to charges of mischief and making and using false documents.
In February 2015, Carole Thomas went public with claims she had been sexually assaulted on a bike path in Longueuil, just two days before 23-year-old Jenique Dalcourt was fatally attacked in the same area.
In a televised interview, Thomas criticized Longueuil police for failing to take her case seriously and singled out Sgt.-Det. David Lelièvre, in particular.
Longueuil police investigated Thomas's claims and concluded that she had made up the story.
Thomas was charged with mischief and making false accusations in June 2015.
Cell phone records
Thomas, who now lives in New Brunswick, was in court in Longueuil Tuesday for what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing into those charges.
Instead, Quebec Court Judge Ann-Mary Beauchemin heard sentencing arguments from her lawyer and Crown prosecutor Julie Laborde.
Laborde explained how police used cell phone records to prove Thomas was nowhere near the scene of the alleged assault on Montreal's South Shore at the time she said it had happened.
In fact, she was at her former home in the Town of Mount Royal at the time.
As for why she fabricated the story of her sexual assault, Laborde said Thomas told a criminologist at the Pinel Institute that she had been sexually assaulted in the past, and that compelled her to make up the incident.
Laborde said there was no way to confirm if that was true.
'Architect of her own misfortune'
The Crown and defence jointly proposed a sentence of 15 months to be served in the community, as well as two years' probation. Judge Beauchemin will decide whether she accepts that sentence on Oct. 28.
Thomas was "the architect of her own misfortune," Laborde said.
"She mobilized a lot of attention," the Crown prosecutor told reporters after the sentencing hearing. "She filed a complaint to the ethics board for the police officers."
"Not only the investigators that worked on her sexual assault case ... but also a lot of other police officers were asked to work [on] her complaints."
Laborde said Thomas received $14,000 from a provincial victims' compensation fund, and she exacerbated fears among the citizens of Longueuil about the danger they were in.
"We hope that the crime committed will not deter ... [real sexual assault] victims from disclosing," Laborde said.
Defamation suit dropped
Thomas had also been facing a defamation suit brought by Longueuil's police brotherhood, on behalf of Sgt.-Det. Lelièvre.
Earlier Tuesday, the brotherhood said in a news release that Thomas had apologized for her comments in a letter and that it was dropping the lawsuit.
Danny Lopez, president of the union, said the situation is a reminder that criticizing a police force is not the same thing as making defamatory statements about a particular police officer.
In her letter, Thomas acknowledges that she was "unfair" toward Lelièvre and that she had no proof that the investigation wasn't carried out properly.
"I am sincerely sorry for all inconvenience and unpleasantness that what I said in the media caused you," she said.
The letter mentions nothing about the allegation that she fabricated her story.
with files from Elias Abboud