'A crime of opportunity': prosecution seeking two years in jail for former paramedic who sexually assaulted patients

Former paramedic Sylvain Depairon, 60, appears at the Montreal courthouse for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two patients under his care. (Stephane Giroux/CTV News)

A judge is debating the fate of a 60-year-old former paramedic who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two patients under his care. 

The defence is trying to argue for a three-month jail term with additional community work, while the prosecution argues for a full two years behind bars for Sylvain Depairon, who worked for Urgence Santé. He pleaded guilty last year to two counts of sexual assault relating to incidents in 2017. 

In one case, Depairon was tasked with transporting a visually disabled woman from an airport -- where she landed by air ambulance -- to a Montreal-area hospital to undergo heart surgery.

Depairon waited when he was alone with his victim to touch her in a sexual manner, while tying her to the gurney, court heard

Months later, a woman facing psychological issues had to be sent to hospital. The prosecution explained to the court that Depairon turned off the lights in the ambulance, then began touching her chest and her genitals.

“This is a crime of opportunity,” argued prosecutor Camille Boucher. “He did it for his own gratification with vulnerable victims.”

Depairon was suspended, then fired by Urgence Santé shortly after his arrest.

Justice David-Emmanuel Simon is expected to announce his decision on the sentence in the coming weeks.

Newsletters

Breaking News alerts, info on contests, and special offers from partners