A 72-year-old Dollard des Ormeaux resident who sexually abused three young girls who attended his wife’s private daycare has been sentenced to a three-year prison term.
While reading from his decision at the Montreal courthouse Thursday afternoon, Quebec Court Judge Gilles Cadieux said William Parsons’s age and poor health shouldn’t be a factor in sentencing someone for “an odious crime.”
In January, Parsons was convicted on all six charges he faced: three of touching a minor for a sexual purpose and inviting, and three of counselling or inciting a minor to touch him in a sexual manner. The case dates back to 2008, when he was first charged. The daycare was closed after one of the victim’s parents called police.
The girls were between the ages of 3 and 5 at the time, and were abused over a period of between eight and 15 months. Cadieux said the victims’ young ages, the frequency of the abuse — one girl said it happened “almost every day ” — and the fact it happened over several months were factors in the sentence. Two of the girls told investigators he convinced them to perform fellatio on him.
The abuse occurred in a section of the home daycare separate from where Parsons’s wife, who is now deceased, would prepare meals. At the time, she suffered from a severe illness that limited her movement.
Parsons, who has filed an appeal in the Jan. 12, 2012, verdict, registered little reaction when he was taken into custody.
Prosecutor Amélie Rivard had asked for a four-year sentence, while defence lawyer Gunar Dube requested a one-year prison term. The defence lawyer asked Cadieux to take Parsons’s poor health, a chronic illness that affects his lungs, into consideration, but Cadieux rejected this. He said the priorities when rendering such a decision are to denounce what the offender did and dissuade others from doing the same.
Another factor, Cadieux said, was that Parsons was in a position of trust when the victims’ parents left their daughters at his home.
A publication ban has been placed on information that could identify the victims. During sentencing arguments, Cadieux was told that all three girls experienced problems after the abuse occurred. The parents of one said their daughter could be described as “a joyful” girl before she was molested. Afterward, she became closed off and insecure. During a hospital visit, she began crying uncontrollably when a male doctor began examining her. The girl still has nightmares but, Cadieux noted, she has shown improvement recently.
Another victim has had difficulty trusting adults and her parents took her to a child psychologist.
“This has caused definite psychological damage,” Cadieux said, while noting Parsons still claims his innocence and therefore potential for rehabilitation couldn’t be taken into consideration.
A sexologist who evaluated Parsons said he couldn’t recommend therapy if Parsons maintains he is innocent.