YUP, GUY CLOUTIER IS SCUM...Guy Cloutier, the Quebec impressario mega-producer who managed Quebec "vedettes" like Nathalie Simard, Réné Simard, Clodine Desrochers, and Natasha St-Pier, and who was behind many popular Quebec television series, like Le Village du Nathalie, La Fureur, and Loft Story, and stage shows, like Elvis Story (which has just opened in Shanghai) and Don Juan de Marco, has pled guilty to five of eight of the charges brought against him, involving the sexual abuse of one girl and the sexual assault of another minor, whose gender cannot be revealed.
"Guy Cloutier, who's been called the king of Quebec's show business world, surprised court spectators Wednesday by pleading guilty to five sex-related charges.
Cloutier, 64, had been facing eight charges. He pleaded guilty at the start of his preliminary hearing Wednesday to fourof those charges, including sexual assault, indecent assault, obstruction of justice, and having sex with a girl under 14.
He also pleaded guilty to a new charge of indecent assault involving another victim.
The offences Cloutier was accused of spanned from 1978 to 2001. All involved the same woman, who was not identified because some of the alleged crimes happened while she was a minor.
The Crown has asked the judge to sentence Cloutier to five years in prison."
Here's an excerpt from a French language article about the case:
"Le producteur Guy Cloutier a plaidé coupable, ce matin, à Montréal, à quatre chefs d'accusation d'agression sexuelle et d'entrave à la justice qui pesaient sur lui et à un cinquième chef concernant une seconde victime.
Dans le cas des cinq premières accusations, la victime est une femme qui était mineure au moment des premières agressions. Dans le second cas, le sexe de la victime n'est pas spécifié et comme le juge Robert Sansfaçon de la Cour du Québec a accepté que la preuve soit présentée à huis clos, cet élément demeurera secret.
"C'est une situation unique dans ma carrière de 20 ans", a déclaré le magistrat qui semblait fort mal à l'aise. Malgré les représentations faites par un avocat qui s'opposait au huis clos, à la demande de divers médias, le juge a conclu que si les informations concernant la seconde victime étaient publiques, cette personne serait non seulement facile à identifier mais subirait "un préjudice grave et important" en plus d'effets dévastateurs à moyen et long termes."
The gist of that is that, if any details about the second victim were published, not only would it be very easy to identify that person but his or her career would be overshadowed by the abuse.
Here's another article in French with details about the abuse and the paying off of the first victim. Cloutier was allegedly giving her at least $2000 a month, which was up to $5000 a month by the time the allegations first surfaced in the media, and he also bought her a house valued at $450 000. In 2002, the victim told her brother, who then went to Cloutier and told him that he's pay dearly for what he did, and, in January, the victim met with Cloutier, threatening to write a book about her experiences, but Cloutier told her that her book would bomb and she probably wouldn't get more than $150 000 for it, and Cloutier offered her $300 000 to not write the book. A couple of weeks later, she finally went to the police. (EDIT: I found a Globe and Mail article in English with many of the same details.)
Guy Cloutier's daughter, Véronique Cloutier (a.k.a. "Véro"), the former Musique Plus V.J. and host of the Véro Show and La Fureur and an actress in the 2002 film Les Dangereux, has taken over her father's production company, Les Productions Guy Cloutier, now renamed Novem. Guy Cloutier's name has been erased from the page about the history of the company.
The Montreal Gazette is reporting that, despite the publication ban, Internet speculation about the identities of the two victims is running rampant. Well, duh! Although I've selectively edited certain old blog entries where I mentioned a certain name directly in correlation to the allegations (though, intitially, I didn't think it was that person, and, in any event, this is technically an American website outside of the jurisdiction of the publication ban), plenty of information about the victim was leaked out in the early days of the case and a couple of French language news sources either named the name directly or gave the initials, and, because of that, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Quebecers think they know exactly who the victim is. This is just one of those rare cases where, for better or for worse, the publication ban is completely futile as the genie was out of the bottle pretty much as soon as the story broke and you can't erase Quebecers' memories. "Je Me Souviens" and all that. You could almost make the cast that the publication ban actually helps Cloutier, since knowing who the victim is would make what he did seem just that much worse to most people, not that the abuse would really be any less tragic if most of us who think we know who it is have the wrong person, but, and I know it's awful to admit this but I'm just telling the truth about society so don't shoot the messenger, the "perception" of the awfulness of the crime would be that much worse.
Cloutier pleading guilty is probably a blessing to the sanity of Quebec reporters, since, if this case had gone to trial, it would have indeed been the "Trial of the Century", the O.J. Simpson trial on a local scale, and reporters would have driven themselves batty trying to find creative ways to flout the spirit but not technically break the word of the publication ban, offering a lot of subtle "nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean?" hints about the victim. And some American papers would have picked up this rather sensationalistic story and they'd have been able to say pretty much everything including names, much to the ire of the local reporters, who would be muzzled. I'd imagine any American paper that would flout the publication ban on the names would be pulled from circulation in Canada on the days they report on the trial, so you'd likely be getting record traffic across the border to pick up a newspaper in some little "2 feet across the border" hamlet like Rouses Point NY.
I hope the victim does write that book, since we would no longer have to skate around the name on anything we write in a public forum.