15-month sentence for gym teacher who molested students
To this day, Denis Morasse had nothing to say about his crimes, the convicted sex offender shaking his head no when the judge asked him for any last words before sentencing.
The former gym teacher and soccer coach from Longueuil has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for sexually molesting six male students under the age of 14 in his charge.
Morasse, 56, was found guilty of seven charges of sexually touching and invitation to sexual touching. The crimes happened between March and November 2007.
The trial heard the former educator at Collège Français had done things such as putting ice in the boys' swim suits and bathing nude in front of them at his home spa.
Morasse has denied his guilt and showed no remorse, saying the incidents were not sexual in nature. He minimized the gestures, calling them games and incentives to get his players to perform better on the field.
But while Judge Pierre Belisle said they may not be the worse sex crimes, he called them inappropriate and underlined Morasse's abuse of authority and breach of trust, adding that he manipulated and took advantage of vulnerable boys. He said the 45 day minimum sentence the defence was asking for was not enough and that a more severe penalty was in order to send a dissuasive message about what he called reprehensible behaviour.
"Parents have to have trust in their institutions. That's the message the judge is sending," crown prosecutor Marie-Josée Guillemette told reporters. She had asked for an 18-month sentence.
Morasse, wearing glasses and a dark suit and tie, showed zero reaction as he was sentenced.
Belisle said while Morasse, a married father of three, has no criminal record and his risk of recidivism is low if there are no children around, he took into account that the acts were planned and happened numerous times over a nine month period.
Besides the 15-month prison term, Morasse will have to serve three years probation. He will also be listed in the sex offenders registry for 20 years and for ten years, he won't be allowed in public places where minors are present such as parks and schools. He also won't be allowed to take on paid jobs or volunteer work where there are minors around.