Warning: The following account from the second day of testimony at the trial of a Val-des-Monts, Que., man facing incest and sexual assault charges contains descriptions of events some readers may find deeply disturbing.
The now-adult daughter of a west Quebec man on trial for incest and sexual assault gave a disturbing account in a Gatineau courtroom Tuesday of what she described as more than 30 years of sexual abuse and terror at her father's hands.
The woman, now 53, testified on the second day of the jury trial of the accused, a 79-year-old father of eight and an Outaouais businessman now living in Val-des-Monts, Que.
He faces three charges of incest, two of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.
The woman had sought and obtained on Tuesday permission to lift the publication ban on her name, but CBC and Radio-Canada have chosen not to name her to protect the identities of other members of her family.
Speaking in French in a trembling voice, she said the first incident happened when she was eight years old and living in Cantley, Que., when her father drove her to Montreal to shop for clothes for Christmas.
She said during the trip they stopped at a motel, and once they were in a room, he sexually assaulted her.
No place safe, witness told court
The woman said her father told her that he was doing it for her own good, but that if she told anyone about it — including her mother — the police would take her from her family.
The incident was the first in what she described as an unrelenting series of sexual assaults that, as she told the court, were too many to count.
She said no time or place was safe, testifying that she was raped in his van, at the house, the cottage, in the woods and even during her lunch break at school.
The woman told the court she was afraid to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, for fear her father would wake up and assault her.
Pregnant at 13
She became pregnant at the age of 13 and testified that the accused was the father.
She said her mother didn't ask her who the father was. Her parents first sought to get her an abortion, but her pregnancy was too far along, she said.
She told the court her father raped her daily during her pregnancy.
She said she became pregnant once more in her late teens and again in her twenties, and each time she said the accused was the father.
She sobbed in the court as she recounted how, when her mother died in 2004 from pancreatic cancer, her father raped her on the day of the funeral.
Went to police in 2014
A few weeks later, the woman testified, her father stopped the assaults but continued to threaten her.
With her mother dead, the alleged victim told the court she felt she no longer had to protect her.
She testified she finally broke down and told one of her sisters everything, and in 2014 went to police.
When asked by the Crown why she hadn't gone to the police sooner, the woman said she was terrified and humiliated and didn't know who to trust.
She said her father was a prominent man in the communities they lived in, and was friends with several police officers, who would come to the house to play cards.
The trial is expected to continue Wednesday.
Below are links to some of the resources available in the region for people in need of help:
- Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa 613-234-2266.
- Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre 613-562-2333.
- CALAS Outaouais region: 819-771-1773.
- Sexual Assault Centres in Ontario.
- In Quebec: 1-888-933-9007 | Montreal area: 514-933-9007