Karine Gagne, 23, of Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy on a recent Bahamas cruise. She has been held captive since January 5 and faces a potential life sentence.
“My daughter was on a cruise with her co-workers. During an evening at the bar, she and her friends chatted with a young man on the spot. The young man’s mother came hysterical and bizarre and filed a complaint. My daughter was then arrested and handed over to the police, said the young woman’s father, Steve Gagne, pointing out that four girls from her group who were there said that nothing happened.
Mr. Gagne believes that his daughter was unjustly accused. He is obviously afraid of the fate that is reserved for him in prison and of the possibility that he never succeeds in obtaining his release.
“She is accused of sexual assault on a minor while she has not even left the bar with the person. For now, she is in jail in a room where everyone is defecating in a corner, in a boiler and she has no bed to sleep on. She was bitten by insects and made reactions, but received no treatment. She faces life imprisonment without remission or extradition in Quebec, “he said.
The mother of three girls, aged 5, 4 and 3, appeared before Chief Justice Joyann Ferguson-Pratt to face her charges. In the Bahamas, the consent of a 15-year-old has no legal value, the age of consent being 16 years.
Given the circumstances of the offense, Clotildoise was unable to register a plea and remained a prisoner for the rest of the proceedings. His case was transferred to a judge of the Supreme Court, as Judge Ferguson-Pratt did not have jurisdiction in this case.
The Gagné family contacted the Canadian Embassy for help, but obtained an estoppel. She then took steps to obtain lawyers from the country. They have succeeded, but the fees are rather expensive. It currently costs $ 15,000 in US currency, not including the commission of the Quebec lawyer who makes the link.
Joins during the day, neither François Choquette nor Alain Rayes had been informed of the fate of Karine Gagné. They invite the family to contact them if they want political support.
Wind of solidarity
In order to pay the costs of lawyers, which are onerous, Steve Gagne launched a campaign of socio-financing on the site onedollargift.com. On Wednesday evening, this initiative raised $ 1125 from 47 donors.
The young mother’s co-workers at the Rebel bar in Sainte-Perpetue also set up a 12-hour fundraiser on February 2 at the Sugar Shack at Ti-pere in Drummondville. The organization is looking for musical trainings and volunteers for the event.
“We are looking for bands of all kinds who would volunteer to create an evening out of this hell and raise as much money as possible. Together we can make a difference, “wrote a friend, Isabelle Grondin, on the Facebook page of the event.
The family must succeed in raising the necessary funding to pay lawyers by February 3 to continue to be defended.