Ex-religious school teacher pleads guilty, gets 15 months house arrest for sexually abusing student

A member of the Congrégation de Ste-Croix religious order has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing one of his students who was 13 at the time.

Olivain Leblanc, 75, pleaded guilty to gross indecency. A charge of sexual touching was stayed.

Crown prosecutor Amélie Rivard said the sexual abuse occurred between 1979 and 1981 when the boy was a student at Collège Notre-Dame. Leblanc was his English teacher. 

Leblanc was charged in 2012 and arrested in 2013.

Leblanc will now serve 15 months of house arrest, as agreed by both the crown and the defence.

Leblanc is confined to his home 24/7 for the first seven months and must respect a curfew between 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. for the remaining months, except for medical appointments or emergencies.

Leblanc's lawyer, Isabel Schurman said her client now suffers from diabetes and prostate cancer. He uses a walker to get around.

Olivain Leblanc didn't comment to us. In court, he apologized to victim & his mom, who has since passed. Victim also addressed the court, telling his abuser there was nothing he could do for him, just like what Leblanc told him when he was expelled from Collège Notre-Dame.#CJAD pic.twitter.com/ESRDSNU7gl

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) November 14, 2017

Rivard said that while "nothing could repair the damage," they took into account the seriousness of the crime, the impact on the victim's life, Leblanc's guilty plea and his remorse.
Leblanc appeared calm and answered matter-of-factly when addressing the court. He apologized to his victim, now in his 50s, and to the victim's mother, who has since passed away.

The victim, who cannot be identified, said it was sad that his mother could not be there to witness the court hearing.

When asked by a reporter if he believed his abuser's remorse, the victim said, " I believe him to a certain point."

The victim said hat he was turning a page not just for him but for other victims. 

The congregation agreed four years ago to an $18-million settlement  for more than 200 sexual abuse victims from Collège Notre-Dame and two other schools run by the Catholic brothers: Collège Saint-Césaire and Notre-Dame-de-Pohénégamook. Leblanc is one of two members who were charged criminally at that time.