Paul Leroux, a former dormitory supervisor who has been convicted of sexually abusing boys at a residential school decades ago, has been given a three-year sentence by a judge in Battleford, Sask.
Leroux shook his head as the sentence was handed down on Thursday. Some of his victims who were in court said they were upset with the prison term and that it was not enough considering their years of suffering.
"I feel so totally inadequate," one of the victims said outside of court. The man cannot be identified because of a publication ban. "I feel like my life is worthless for what the judge had given him. Three years. With good behaviour, he'll be out in seven months. He'll be out of there by next summer while we have to live with what he has done to us."
In his remarks on the sentence, the judge said he recognized the victims have suffered and that any sentence he imposed would not relieve that suffering or seem adequate.
The judge said one of the factors he took into consideration was Leroux's age, 73, and that since his last conviction, in the 1990s, he had been successfully reintroduced into society. The judge noted Leroux is also considered a very low risk to reoffend.
"I think it was a farce, given the number of offences," another man said. "And I don't think age should have ever been a factor in his sentencing, because he sure didn't consider the age of the people he molested."
The Crown prosecutor had sought a sentence of 11 years in prison. Mitch Piche said later he was not satisfied with the sentence and will consider an appeal.
'It doesn't matter what he gets. The damage is done.'— Residential school victim
Leroux worked at the Beauval Indian Residential School nearly 50 years ago. Last month, he was found guilty on 10 counts of indecent assault.
Before the sentencing on Thursday, CBC News spoke with one victim, who cannot be named. He said nothing will undo what happened to him and the other victims.
"It doesn't matter what he gets," the victim said. "The damage is done. He's stolen many years from us. Whether he gets two, three, four, 10 years, it doesn't matter."
Leroux has been representing himself in court. He maintains he did not commit the crimes and is not apologizing.
Leroux's previous convictions stem from his time working at a residential school in Inuvik during the 1970s. He was sentenced to 10 years in 1998 for sexually abusing boys there.
The Beauval school was operated by the Catholic Church under the supervision of the federal government, from 1895 to 1983.