Quebec man accused of sexually assaulting disabled daughter

A man from Gatineau, Que., has been charged with sexually assaulting his daughter, who has an intellectual disability, over a 14-year period while she was in his care.

Reported incidents happened over 14 years between 1991 and 2005

A 69-year-old Gatineau man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his intellectually-disabled daughter over a 14-year period did not enter a plea as expected on Friday morning.

His daughter and her supporters were at the courthouse hoping for a conclusion to the case of prolonged abuse.    

The man was arrested in February and charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation by a person in authority and incest. 

The woman reported the abuse happened between 1991 and 2005, when she was between the ages of 19 and 32.

CBC News is not reporting the name of the accused in order to protect the victim's identity.

Woman came forward with help of sister

The woman told her sister about the abuse just before Christmas, the sister told CBC News Friday.

"I never thought my father could do that," she said. "He knows she's vulnerable. That's not a father's role."

The sister then took the woman to a sexual assault centre for counselling.

Michele Leveillle, who works at the Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les aggressions sexuelles de l’Outaouais, said she helped the woman decide whether or not to come forward. She said one in 10 victims do not report their sexual assault to police.

"She had nightmares and felt really like she was isolated and she was scared of boys, so she had a lot of consequences to work on," Leveille said.

The woman decided to make a complaint to police in January.

Could be more victims, police say

Her interviews with police and the investigation that followed led to the man’s arrest on Feb. 10, police said.

He was charged in February and released on bail with the condition he doesn't communicate with his daughter. His lawyer appeared in court Friday on the man's behalf. The case is adjourned to July 21.

Gatineau police said they advised a local school board about the charges because the accused used to work as a janitor at a high school and some elementary schools in Aylmer. No new complainants have come forward.

Police spokesman Pierre Lanthier said investigators haven't ruled out the possibility there could be other victims but added there are "no flags" to suggest there are. The accused has no previous criminal record.

Police are also calling on victims of sexual assault to reach out for help by contacting them at one of the police stations or by calling 819-246-0222.