Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 19, 2016 - 8:29 am

Nunavut court jails Iqaluit man for sex with under-aged girl

André Doucet, at age 36, carried on a relationship with 14-year-old

STEVE DUCHARME
André Doucet is led Aug. 18 into the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)
André Doucet is led Aug. 18 into the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

Iqaluit resident André Doucet, 40, has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for carrying on an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Justice Susan Cooper read the sentence to Doucet at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Aug. 18, nearly five months after a jury found him guilty of sexual assault and assault.

The charges arise from events in 2012 and 2013, when Doucet, then 36, began a sexual relationship with the underage complainant, who was then 14.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that a person aged 14 to 16 cannot consent to sexual activity with someone five or more years older than them, unless they are married.

Doucet’s relationship with the young teen girl lasted over a period of months when they “carried on as a couple,” Cooper said.

“At different times during the relationship, Mr. Doucet showed signs of jealousy and possessiveness,” she said.

“On one of these occasions he attempted to burn the victim’s feet with a Coleman stove and he choked her for a few seconds. This is the basis upon which the assault conviction stands.”

Doucet told the underage victim, during their relationship, that he placed cameras at her school and that he was able to monitor her movements.

“It was at this point that the victim disclosed her circumstances to the vice-principal of the school. An investigation ensued, leading to charges [before the court],” Cooper said.

The victim, who testified at Doucet’s preliminary hearing and trial, “still had strong feelings” and “is having difficulties understanding that the relationship was not a healthy one for her,” Cooper said.

No victim impact statement was provided to the court.

In her sentencing, Cooper acknowledged Doucet’s troubled youth, when he often faced abuse from an alcoholic father and was forced at an early age to care for younger siblings.

Doucet has two daughters from a previous relationship, aged 18 and 19, and is “on friendly terms” with their mother, who he provides money to on a regular basis, Cooper noted.

“Mr. Doucet’s personal circumstances show that he strives to overcome difficulties he experienced as a child… His background and his conduct while in custody support the proposition that he is receptive to counseling and that there are good prospects for rehabilitation,” she continued.

Doucet has completed grief and substance abuse counseling while in custody, as well as an alternative to violence program.

In their sentencing submissions, Crown lawyers sought a three-year combined sentence for Doucet’s sexual assault and assault convictions.

Doucet will serve roughly one and a half years of his jail time, after Cooper gave him credit for the 338 days he has already spent in custody.

Cooper ordered Doucet to have no contact with the complainant before or after his release from prison, imposed a 10-year will be put on firearms prohibition and ordered him to submit his DNA to the national sex offenders database.

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