Bail granted for St. Hubert pastor and wife accused of assaulting children since 1974

A St. Hubert pastor and his wife charged with assaulting children over the past four decades have been granted bail with a long list of conditions.

Mario Monette and Carole Van Houtte, both 65, appeared at the Longueuil courthouse on 32 charges each, including assault, forcible confinement and uttering threats.

Monette and Van Houtte are accused of inflicting corporal punishment on at least eight children between 1974 and 2019. They are also accused of encouraging their congregation of doing the same thing.

Monette is the pastor at the South Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church.

Mario Monette & Carole Van Houtte are out on bail. The pastor & wife, both 65, each face 32 charges. They are accused of inflicting corporal punishment on at least 8 kids between 1974 & 2019. He presided at South Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church in St. Hubert. #CJAD800

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) March 1, 2019

A former parishioner, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, told reporters she is happy and relieved to see the couple arrested and charged, freeing her to speak her mind after ten years with the church.

"I was glad to see them there because they humiliate so much the people, so much for years. Humiliating the kids, humiliating the people, humiliating the faithful believers over there," said the woman, who claims the couple was controlling, manipulative and demanded members of the church give them part of their salary.

"It's a release that came true, I wish it could happen one day. He was so powerful, so untouchable. So now he's where he belongs."

This ex-member of South Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church, who is protected by pub ban, calls pastor Mario Monette & Carole Van Houtte controlling and manipulative, says they humiliated people. The couple’s bail conditions include not preaching at religious gatherings. #CJAD800 pic.twitter.com/wSucrVR4yB

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) March 1, 2019

Monette, wearing a wine-coloured cardigan and white shirt, and Van Houtte, sporting a black cardigan and grey turtleneck,  appeared in court separately but both were emotionless during the hearing.

They have the same bail conditions which include: having to put up a $500 bond; surrendering their passport; not being allowed to contact or be in the presence of the alleged victims and their families; not being allowed to hold a job or volunteer position that involves minors; and not being allowed to be a minister or preach at church or religious gatherings.

When asked if he owned any firearms, Monette answered matter-of-factly that he did. He must surrender them to authorities within five days.

The couple returns to court at the end of next month.