A daughter of a west Quebec man on trial for incest and sexual assault told a Gatineau court that decades of sexual abuse and terror at her father's hands has haunted her in her life, her career and her relationships.
- Daughter of accused recounts years of terror at Quebec incest trial
The woman, now 53, testified for a second day in the jury trial of the accused, a 79-year-old father of eight, who is an Outaouais businessman from Val-des-Monts, Que. He faces three charges of incest, two of indecent assault and one of sexual assault in relation to three of his daughters. He cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughters.
Speaking in French during an emotional day of testimony on Tuesday, his 53-year-old daughter gave harrowing details of how her father sexually assaulted her for 30 years. She had three children by him, including the first child when she was just 13.
She told the court Wednesday that as an adult she has never had a partner and had very little self-esteem.
Father terrorized family, she told court
She testified she managed to return to school at the age of 40 and complete a training program in special education, but that she didn't feel she was good enough to do the work and never looked for a job in in the field.
"All I've known is sexual abuse," she told the court in French.
During cross-examination, she said it was too hard to tell anyone about her father's abuse when she was growing up because she feared him.
During the two days of testimony she described her father as verbally and physically abusive to her, her mother and other family members.
Though she said the abuse continued from 1971 to 2004, she said she did not contact police and a sexual assault centre until 2014, after she opened up to one of her sisters.
2nd daughter testifies
A second daughter of the accused also testified Wednesday.
The 45-year-old woman was born out of an extramarital relationship but was integrated into the household when she was seven years old. She told the court her father began sexually assaulting her at about the same time.
She testified that the abuse ended when she was 15 or 16 years old.
Coming from a poor family, she said she endured the abuse because it was the first time she had lived in a home where there was food in the fridge. She said she didn't tell anyone because she did not want to be the person who would break up the family.
She said when she learned of her father's arrest in 2014 she contacted a family member to tell them that she too was assaulted.
"He ruined my childhood," she said in French as she looked at the accused in the courtroom. She said she hoped testifying would mark a new chapter in her life.
At the end of her testimony, she turned to the accused and told him she loved him, but that what he did was wrong. She said she was saying goodbye to him.
The trial continues on Thursday.
Below are links to some of the resources available in the region for people in need of help:
- Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa 613-234-2266.
- Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre 613-562-2333.
- CALAS Outaouais region: 819-771-1773.
- Sexual Assault Centres in Ontario.
- In Quebec: 1-888-933-9007 | Montreal area: 514-933-9007