• The Buffalo Tribune Team

18-year sentence for Montreal man who bought African girl as sex-slave

A disgusting situation: a Montreal resident who brought an eight-year-old African girl as a sex-slave will face a long time in prison after his prosecutor called his crime "without precedent."

Prosecutor Amélie Rivard argued that Sylvain Villemaire, 60, should receive a18-year sentence for the crimes he was convicted of earlier this year, after he pleaded guilty to last year, including human trafficking, distribution of child pornography and sexual interference of a person under the age of 16.

She also asked that the sentences be served consecutively and that other sentences for related offences be served concurrently.

The victim also testified before Labelle, but was conducted behind closed-doors to protect the girl’s identity.

Rivard said it is clear Villemaire’s crimes “have an impact on [the girl] now, had an impact on her in the past and will have a major impact on her in the future.”

The prosecutor noted that the victim feels betrayed by her mother and has lost all contact with her biological family, having essentially become an orphan.

Villemaire convinced the girl’s mother back in 2015 that he could provide her with a better life and education in Canada if he could bring her to Montreal and act as her tutor. He also married the mother, who was ultimately unable to come to Canada.

The girl testified that when she refused sex with Villemaire, he would become physically violent, punching walls and threatening to send her back to Africa.

“He profited from a vulnerability where the mother and (the victim) lived in conditions in Africa where, according to everyone, it was miserable: no water, no electricity and poor education. And Mr. Villemaire used his status as a rich Canadian man to make the promise of a better life,” Rivard said.

“Canada’s reputation is at play here. A child entered here to study and was used as a sex slave for three years. I would say these actions have to be strongly sentenced.”

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