The artist Florent Cousineau will have to do 30 months in prison
Renowned artist Florent Cousineau, convicted of sexually assaulting his son’s ex-girlfriend in 1986, was sentenced to 30 months in prison although he could regain his freedom soon after his lawyer announced that she was appealing both the verdict and the sentence.
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The 72-year-old looked confused when the judge curtly sentenced him to 30 months in prison. It must be said that the artist, who had no bag of personal effects with him, hoped to avoid prison for this « crime of the time ».
In the spring of 1986, the victim had gone to the Cousineaus to discuss with the accused’s son in the context of a relationship that was failing. The artist alone at home had welcomed the 19-year-old CEGEP student by offering to give her a massage.
The young woman had undressed and was lying on the divan. Without even there being a massage, the artist had penetrated the young woman who did not react. It was in 2017, out of “social duty” that the now 55-year-old victim denounced her attacker.
“You trapped me,” said the victim, believing that the man she admired had taken advantage of her vulnerability and her naivety.
memory too precise
Judge Christian Boulet found the accused guilty of sexual assault, considering in particular that he had too specific memories of an event that happened 35 years ago. A conviction that has since been appealed.
At the sentencing stage, the lawyer for the well-known sculptor had asked for a stay of sentencing, in particular because it was a crime of the era and considering that the media coverage of the legal proceedings against Cousineau had been « abundant ».
The judge instead sided with the range of sentences proposed by the Crown by imposing a sentence of 30 months in prison.
However, as soon as her client was imprisoned, Me Susan Corriveau indicated that she was appealing the sentence, she who had already brought the verdict to a higher court. Thus, Me Corriveau intended to address the Court of Appeal today so that the septuagenarian recovers his freedom immediately.
« There are points on the question of media coverage that I do not entirely agree with what the judge indicated, » said the lawyer in particular. A hearing could therefore take place by the end of the day.