No easy answers in Julie Surprenant case: coroner
A Quebec coroner has released her report into the disappearance of 16-year-old Julie Surprenant in 1999.
And she is throwing the ball into the court of other officials involved in the investigation to make changes to the law if that's what's necessary.
In her 13-page report, Quebec coroner Catherine Rudel-Tessier says inquiry testimony leads her to believe convicted sex offender Richard Bouillon was involved in the murder of Julie Surprenant. Bouillon was a neighbour of the family at the time. Nurses testified he confessed to the crime on his deathbed six years ago. The corner says it didn't appear to be a case of patient confidentiality but wouldn't go so far as recommending changes to the law.
"I'm a little disappointed the coroner didn't make any specific recommendations," said Pina Arcamone of the Missing Children's Network.
The coroner suggests healthcare officials be made aware of the notion of what constitutes confidential information and a healthcare professional be designated to handle such cases and decide the nature of the information and if it can be revealed.
Arcamone said the coroner should have gone a little further in taking a position on widening public access to things such as the sex offenders' registry. The coroner says society made a choice to protect their private lives and confidential information and if that's called into question, public debate is the right forum, not a coroner's inquiry.
"It's disturbing to note that we're protecting the rights of criminals but there doesn't seem to be much regard for the victims and their families and that needs to change," Arcamone said.
Photo: Surprenant family