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

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Published on August 18, 2011
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.

 

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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.