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Church of Downtown Montreal

Self-ordained pastor Daniel Cormier, who testified at his trial that his sexual relations with a 10-year-old were legal because he married her in his church when she was 16, has been found guilty of sexual assault of a minor. He was to have been sentenced in November. [csr 8.1, 2009)

The sexual abuse trial of Daniel Cormier, self-proclaimed minister of the now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal, continued in April with testimony from the alleged victim’s mother telling about his relationship with her family. Having emigrated from Nova Scotia with her two pre-school children in 1993, ending up on the street, on drugs, and prostituting herself, she says Cormier became a sort of guardian, helped get the girls out of child protection, paid the family’s bills, took them all on vacations, once to Disney World, and spent a great deal of time with the older girl when their mother was at work. He made the girl his wife when she was 10, with the mother’s approval, he says. Cormier asserts that his admitted sexual relationship with the now 18-year-old girl — she was nine when it began — was legal because they were — as they are still — husband and wife, and, moreover, that a spouse cannot be forced to testify against a husband or wife. “I didn’t see any harm in it because I trusted him,” said the mother. “He was a pastor, and I never would have thought in a million years that he’d hurt my children.” He says the girl “used every trick in the book to win me over,” but that everything he did with her was out of love and for her benefit. “She was very sexually aware at 8 years old. I don’t know if she was abused before. She loved me a lot and had certain needs. I’m convinced that what I did with her was for her and was good for her.” [csr 7.3 2008)

Proliferating heavily armed gangs in the U.S., run like military units and corporations, are forging alliances among themselves, and with overseas gangs, to conduct a variety of illegal activities, including prostitution, and the drug and arms trades. Large street gangs use violence and extortion to ensure that members adhere to the gang’s code of conduct and to prevent them from leaving. [csr 7.3 2008)

The Montreal trial of Daniel Cormier, 56, on a number of sexual exploitation charges, was highlighted in December by the refusal of one of his alleged victims — whom Cormier says he married a decade ago, when she was 10 — refused to testify face-to-face against him but did so over closed circuit TV from another courtroom. “He manipulates people and gets them to say what he wants,” she said. “I don’t want to be in the same courtroom as him.” She added that Cormier, head of the Church of Downtown Montreal, won’t leave her alone; she says he set up an account on Facebook, pretending to be her, and wrote about their so-called marriage. Cormier believes that the institution of marriage justifies sex with underage girls. [csr 7.1 2008)