Ottawa

Jacques Lesage tells sentencing hearing he was a product of incest

A man convicted of sexually abusing two of his daughters and fathering three children with one of them says he himself was the product of incest — his mother was also his sister.

WARNING: this story includes details of graphic testimony some readers may find disturbing

Jacques Lesage, 79, was found guilty of three charges of incest and one charge of indecent assault in relation to two of his daughters. (Supplied photo)

Warning: the following story concerning the trial of a man convicted of incest and indecent assault charges contains descriptions of events some readers may find deeply disturbing.


A man convicted of sexually abusing two of his daughters and fathering three children with one of them says he himself was the product of incest.

Jacques Lesage, 79, was found guilty on Friday of three counts of incest and one count of indecent assault in relation to two of his daughters, 53-year-old Lucie Lesage and 49-year-old Nathalie Lesage. 

Speaking at his own sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Lesage said he himself was a product of incest, and that an older sister was also his mother.

He also told the court he married his wife when he was 16 and she was 13 to get her away from a home where she was being sexually abused.

The father of eight children did not mention either of these details when he took the stand at his trial. At that time he spoke of abuse he had suffered at the hands of his own father and later from brothers at a Catholic orphanage.

Lesage told the court Tuesday he was also suffering from a number of illnesses, including cancer, and said he has had his genitals removed to stop the cancer from spreading.

'You are going where you deserve'

The Crown is seeking the maximum sentence of 14 years in relation of Jacques Lesage's abuse of his daughter Lucie Lesage, who first came forward to police in 2014. (CBC News)
Earlier at the sentencing hearing Lucie and Nathalie Lesage battled through tears to recount the emotional toll of years of abuse at the hands of their father.

Lucie Lesage had told the court she had been raped and sexually assaulted since she was eight years old, and that she had three children by her father, the first when she was just 13.

On Tuesday, she described a life destroyed by violence, the pregnancies she endured and the revictimization that occurred daily at her father's hands.

She said her eldest child is severely disabled and requires constant care, and she has had post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and has never been able to have a normal relationship.

When she finished speaking she turned to her father and said, in French, "You are going where you deserve … going to hell."

Daughter seeks maximum sentence

Nathalie Lesage and her step-sister Chantal Knippenberg both came forward after their sister Lucie's complaint led to charges against their father. (CBC News)
Nathalie Lesage said the abuse she endured ruined her life, and that she too battled PTSD and depression.

She told the court she wanted her father to get the maximum sentence. A single charge of incest carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.

During his statement, Jacques Lesage continued to deny he had ever touched Nathalie, but acknowledged his abuse of Lucie.

Jacques Lesage had also denied abusing a third daughter who came forward, 45-year-old Chantal Knippenberg.

On Friday, the court found him not guilty of sexual assault and indecent assault in relation to Knippenberg.

Jacques Lesage, who has been incarcerated since he was first charged in 2014, still faces two separate charges related to another victim: one charge of sexual assault and another charge of sexual interference with a minor.

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