New Brunswick

Romeo Cormier gets 18 years for kidnapping, sex assault

A Moncton, N.B., man who kidnapped a woman at knifepoint from a local shopping mall and held her for 26 days has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

A judge in New Brunswick has sentenced Romeo Cormier to 18 years in prison.

The 63-year-old Moncton, N.B., man was convicted last month of six charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, robbery with a weapon, assault with a weapon and uttering threats.

He was found guilty of abducting a woman at knifepoint from a mall last year and keeping her in a rooming house for almost a month while sexually assaulting her.

'I hope he never gets to walk the streets again, to be honest — at least if he does, he's so old he won't be able to hurt anybody.'—Victim tells media outside court

The identity of the woman, who is in her 50s, is protected by a publication ban.

Judge Zoel Dionne called Cormier's crimes "horrendous" and said there's very little chance he can be rehabilitated.

Dionne said his decision was based on the facts as described by the victim. The judge said Cormier's narcissistic personality did not excuse his actions, but described him as a hardened criminal who knew what he was doing to the victim and her family.

The Crown had been looking for a sentence of life in prison.

The defence had sought a term of 10 to 12 years.

Although Cormier was sentenced to 18 years in prison, 512 days (approximately 17 months) will be subtracted from that for time he has already spent in custody. His name will also remain permanently on the sex offenders registry. He has also been prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunitions or explosives.

Cormier will have to spend half his sentence in jail — about 9½ years — before he can apply for parole.

He will serve his sentences concurrently in a federal penitentiary.

At Thursday's sentencing hearing,  prosecutor Annie St. Jacques said life will never be the same for Cormier's victim or her family.

The woman had testified that she was held in a basement rooming house for 26 days and repeatedly sexually assaulted and threatened before she managed to escape.

The jury deliberated for about six hours before convicting Cormier on all six charges he was facing.

The victim told reporters after the guilty verdict that she wants Cormier off the streets for good.

"I hope he never gets to walk the streets again, to be honest — at least if he does, he's so old he won't be able to hurt anybody," she said.

The woman had testified that Cormier warned her he wouldn't return to prison as a kidnapper or a rapist, but as a murderer.

As the judge left the courtroom, Cormier called out to him, saying, "You're an all right judge, but the sentence was too harsh."