Breaking: Romeo Cormier gets 18-year sentence in New Brunswick abduction case

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Romeo Cormier. CP file photo

MONCTON, N.B. — Romeo Cormier has been handed an 18-year prison sentence for keeping a New Brunswick woman captive and sexually assaulting her in his basement apartment for nearly a month last year.

Last month, a jury found the 63-year-old Cormier guilty of kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and uttering death threats.

The 55-year-old woman — whose identity is protected by a publication ban —  testified during the trial that Cormier grabbed her at knifepoint on the night of Feb. 26, 2010, outside the shopping mall where she worked.

She said she was held in the basement of a rooming house where he sometimes gagged and sexually assaulted her until she was able to escape on March 24, 2010.

Cormier offered a different account, telling the court that the woman wanted to be with him and that she had enlisted him to kill her husband.

The judge presiding over the case gave Cormier credit for the 512 days he has already served in remand.

 

••••

MONCTON, N.B. — A New Brunswick woman, who is originally from Newfoundland, held captive by Romeo Cormier in a basement apartment for nearly a month where she was sexually assaulted says she feels her dignity has been taken away.

A victim impact statement from the woman was read into court Thursday by the Crown at the sentencing hearing for Cormier, who was recently convicted of abducting her, sexually assaulting her and keeping her prisoner in his Moncton home for 26 days.

“My whole life has been consumed by what happened to me because he has no remorse,” Crown lawyer Annie St. Jacques read on the woman’s behalf.

St. Jacques is seeking a life sentence.

“The abuse she was subjected to will have a lasting psychological affect on her,” St. Jacques said.

She asked for Cormier to be listed on the national sex offender registry and added that if he is not given a life sentence, she wants him to serve at least half of whatever time he is given before he is eligible for parole.

Defence lawyer Robert Rideout is recommending a sentence of 10 to 12 years, minus the 17 months Cormier has already served in remand.

Rideout said Cormier’s crimes shocked the community — but that such behaviour is usually rooted in a mental disorder.

Rideout said a psychological assessment done in May 2010 showed that Cormier has narcissism, and as a result, he has diminished empathy for other people’s feelings.

“These are not the acts of a normal functioning mind, but a mind driven by compulsion,” he argued.

He said the Crown’s request to ensure Cormier serves at least half of his sentence before parole eligibility should be rejected.

Last month, a jury found the 63-year-old Cormier guilty of kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and uttering death threats.

The 55-year-old woman — whose identity is protected by a publication ban —  testified during the trial that Cormier grabbed her at knifepoint on the night of Feb. 26, 2010, outside the shopping mall where she worked.

She said she was held in the basement of a rooming house where he sometimes gagged and sexually assaulted her until she was able to escape on March 24, 2010.

Cormier offered a different account, telling the court that the woman wanted to be with him and that she had enlisted him to kill her husband.

 

•••

MONCTON, N.B. — The Crown is seeking a life sentence against Romeo Cormier, who was convicted last month of abducting a woman, sexually assaulting her and keeping her prisoner in his Moncton home for nearly a month.

During sentencing arguments today, lawyer Annie St. Jacques says the abuse that the woman was subjected to by Cormier last year will have a lasting psychological effect on her.

Last month, a jury found the 63-year-old Cormier guilty of kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and uttering death threats.

The 55-year-old woman — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — testified that Cormier grabbed her at knifepoint on the night of Feb. 26, 2010, outside the shopping mall where she worked.

She said she was held in the basement of a rooming house where he sometimes gagged and sexually assaulted her until she was able to escape on March 24, 2010.

Cormier offered a different account, telling the court that the woman wanted to be with him and that she had enlisted him to kill her husband.

 

 

••••

A sentencing hearing will be held today for a New Brunswick man convicted of abducting a woman, sexually assaulting her and keeping her prisoner in his Moncton home for nearly a month.

Last month, a jury found 63-year-old Romeo Cormier guilty of kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and uttering death threats.

The 55-year-old woman — a native of Newfoundland whose identity is protected by a publication ban — testified that Cormier grabbed her at knifepoint on the night of Feb. 26, 2010, outside the shopping mall where she worked.

She said she was held in the basement of a rooming house where he sometimes gagged and sexually assaulted her until she was able to escape nearly a month later on March 24, 2010.

Cormier told the court that the woman wanted to be with him and that she had enlisted him to kill her husband.

Judge Zoel Dionne will hear sentencing arguments from Crown and defence lawyers as well as victim impact statements before he imposes a sentence.

Geographic location: Moncton, New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Here we go again
    August 18, 2011 - 16:42

    He should of been locked away for life. Mental Illness or not, I'm so sick of people using mental illness or addictions for everything these days and the worst part is that these judges are so out of touch with the real world that they will side with the defense in these matters. It's like this, let's say that I go down south and catch an exotic virus that is contagious and it causes death or even severe illness to those around me. As soon as the dept of Health finds out, guess what, I'm put in isolation . my freedoms are taken away and this will remain so until I am no longer a risk to the community. Why, for public safety. That's why. So why can't we do the same for those who are violently mentally ill? And for the love of Jez, I'm tired hearing the whining from the mental health groups, when you're crying over a term Randy Simms might have used or the Orange Store billboards, you've lost your credibility in many people's eyes. And people wonder why Harpour got in as Prime Minster with a firm majority? This story is why. 17 months credit for time serviced? Wow! Once again, it's all about the criminal's rights and not the victims. So mental illness or not, he should of been locked away for life.

  • Dizzy
    August 18, 2011 - 14:12

    Lock him away forever..next it will be some poor innocent child and we will be commenting about how "if the justice system had to do something about this the first time he committed such an act, we wouldn't be doing this right now"......Set an example ! If our justice system keeps giving hardcore criminals the benefit of the doubt..we will never get anywhere!

  • Survivor
    August 18, 2011 - 12:50

    As a fellow survivor of a monster like this i pray he gets life,and she Is in my prayers,time don't heal wounds but it do get easier

  • Maggy Carter
    August 18, 2011 - 10:56

    Undoubtedly the Judge will go with the crown on this one. Life in Canada ranges from 7-25 years with the Judge setting the minimum time for parole eligibility. Hopefully in this case the minimum will be at least 17 years which will make him 80 before he can apply for release and by which time he might no longer be a threat to anyone. As noted, the victim will likely carry the scars from this trauma for at least that long if not for the rest of her life. We don't often see civil actions in this country that follow criminal convictions but if this creep actually owns that house or has other assets, she should go after them right away. She deserves and might very well need whatever she can get to pay for the therapy she is likely to require in the years ahead. Good luck to her and her family.