“I don’t want her to do this to anyone else”: she was attacked by a karate teacher at the age of 13, confided almost 20 years later

“I don’t want him to do that to anyone else.” A young woman who just convicted a karate teacher who sexually assaulted her nearly 20 years ago wants to publicly denounce him to prevent him from causing other victims when he gets out of prison.

Earlier this year, Ghyslain Durocher was found guilty in a Joliette court of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in 2005.

For a year, he used his status as a karate teacher to abuse one of his students, Jessica. At the end of the trial, the 31-year-old’s publication ban was lifted so that she could speak publicly about what she suffered. She still wants to withhold her last name so that this story does not follow her.

“His life will continue when he gets out of prison. I would like to prevent a little girl from being around him and getting hit, Jessica said. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone.”

On two occasions, Ghyslain Durocher assaulted her as he was driving her back to her home after a karate class. Along the way, he stopped and brought her into the back of his van to have full-on sex with her.

Their “secret”

The other two times they were at his house, while the teenage girl was looking after the defendant’s children. The man stayed there and took the opportunity to do something. So that she would not condemn him, he told her that it was their “secret”, that if she spoke about it, she would end up in a foster family.

Jessica has decided to speak openly, but asks that her last name be withheld so that this story does not follow her. PHOTO VALERIE GONTHIER

Photo by Valérie Gonthier

Jessica lived in silence for 16 years. She finally complained after therapy, after years of abuse.

“When your first sexual relationship is an assault, it brings you a relationship with sex, broken, unhealthy,” said the woman who also gave up alcohol.

If she waited a long time before condemning him, it was because she refused to show him that she was affected. “I finally realized that I was burying my head in the sand, that by not telling him I was letting him win. But by denouncing, I returned power,” she said.

The accused always denied everything, he even went so far as to say that the teenage girl was in love with him. But judge Normand Bonin believed the victim, who said she “simply submitted because she thought she had to.”

Moreover, a few years after the attack on Jessica, Ghyslain Durocher made another victim, in similar circumstances. In 2011, he received a 15-month prison sentence for sexually touching a teenage girl whom he also taught karate to.

The sentence “candy”

He had to undergo specialized therapy at the time, although his worrying attraction to young girls would be less of a concern today, he argued in court.

He was recently sentenced to three years in custody, a sentence proposed by both the Crown and the defense. For Jessica, this is a “sweet” sentence, considering that even Judge Bonin felt that a sentence of four or five years would be more appropriate. But since the proposed sentence was reasonable, he supported the parties’ proposal.

She also says she is exasperated with the justice system, especially the long delays. But now he wants to turn the page.

“I don’t want to be a victim anymore. I don’t want to cry about it anymore. It’s still there, it’s sad, but I’m somewhere else and it doesn’t hurt anymore – she said proudly.

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