Brutally beaten by other inmates because he was falsely tagged a rapist
To draw attention to 4 years of inaction from the Ministry of Justice, Michel Dumont unveils a billboard in front of the National Assembly aimed at Minister of Injustice (sic) Yvon Marcoux.
Montreal, April 26, 2005 Wrongfully sentenced for a rape he never committed and for which he served almost three years in prison, Michel Dumont is castigating the Quebec Ministry of Justice for its sloppiness and inaction. The electrician and father of five who had never had any tangles with the law, unveiled today a billboard in front of Quebec's National Assembly to denounce the fact that the last three Justice Ministers in the Charest government (in two years) have undermined the proper workings of the Department, which has been painfully slow in righting a wrong that has been publicly acknowledged.
Michel Dumont, 45, an electrician by trade working in the hospital sector, woke up one day in a real-life version of The Fugitive as the victim of a horrifying miscarriage of justice. The resident of La Plaine unjustly spent 1,190 days in prison a stay that ruined him financially and left him, his wife and their five children scarred for life. This decent family man always proclaimed his innocence.
A long court saga ended in February 2001 when the Quebec Court of Appeal cleared Dumont of the charges of kidnapping, forcible confinement and armed sexual assault for which he had been wrongfully sentenced in June 1991. By then he had served 34 months of his 52-month sentence in a penitentiary where he was brutally beaten by other inmates because he was falsely tagged as a rapist. Yet less than six months after his sentencing, the rape victim signed an affidavit clearing Dumont.
The Crown Prosecutor, however, chose to conceal that information from the defence and judge. Now four years after having been cleared, Dumont wants compensation from the Charest government. "I'm fed up with the indifference of Justice Department officials," said Dumont. "On numerous occasions I've proclaimed my desire to reach an out-of-court settlement, but it seems like this message isn't getting through to the Minister of Justice. That has me wondering. Isn't this problem clearly related to the game of musical chairs the Charest government has played with this ministry?"
Dumont had a solid alibi: he was at home with friends at the time of the crime. Moreover, no fingerprints and no DNA tests were taken at the scene of the crime, which Boisbriand police investigators didn't even bother going over even though the bedspread, according to the police report, had sperm stains. Dumont was sentenced to 52 months in prison.
He almost immediately appealed the decision, but the application was denied even though unknown to him in the meantime the victim had signed an affidavit completely clearing Dumont.
Finally, after 34 months in prison and numerous public statements by the victim to the media, Dumont was finally cleared and released. Today, psychologically in tatters and on the brink of bankruptcy, he and his new spouse, Solange Tremblay, feel that financial compensation is required to right the wrongs suffered all those years. "The time I spent in prison for sexual assault was no picnic. I had to put with horrible beatings during my stay behind bars. It was not at all like the star treatment given to Montreal impressario Guy Cloutier. My children were placed in a foster home by the Youth Protection authorities (DPJ) and horribly assaulted. They now need good therapy to lead normal lives." It was only when the victim proclaimed her doubts about Dumont's guilt that the case was referred to the Quebec Court of Appeal by then federal Justice Minister Ann McLellan. The Court then unanimously cleared Dumont.
In his claim against the Quebec government, Dumont argues that the police botched the investigation and ignored facts pointing to his innocence. Now trapped in an endless judicial maze, this honest man is forced to sue the government, with which he would gladly negotiate a settlement. Dumont is asking $5.8 million for himself and $2.9 million for his spouse and children. Despite the support of his MNA, Luc Thériault of the Parti Québécois who is actively involved in the case,
Dumont has been unable to obtain a meeting with successive Justice Ministers Marc Bellemare, Jacques Dupuis and Yvon Marcoux. The numerous letters and requests that he sent them, and which are published on his new website launched today www.injusticequebec.ca, went unanswered.
That's why Dumont is today unveiling a billboard aimed at Minister of Injustice (sic) Yvon Marcoux in front of the National Assembly.
After circulating an Internet petition that now has tens of thousands of signatures, Dumont now wonders what he has to do to get a response from
Marcoux. "I was unjustly sentenced. I want compensation and the Ministry of Justice to set up a program for the victims of miscarriages justice in Quebec such as they have in other provinces across the country."
Last May QFL president Henri Massé held a news conference with Dumont, an affiliated QFL member. Massé pointed out that all the efforts made to date with the Ministry of Justice had produced no results, not even a reasonable explanation to Dumont for the denial of justice. "As humans, we have no right to treat Dumont with such disregard, especially since he was cleared of all charges in 2001," said Massé. "The government has to repair the serious prejudice he and his family suffered during this long ordeal. We hope that by making this a public issue, the new Justice Minister will be smart enough to drop the purely legalistic attitude the government has taken in this matter, and finally agree to sit down with Mr. Dumont and negotiate."
The public is asked to call on Justice Minister Yvon Marcoux to set right this substantial miscarriage of justice. Thousands of people have already signed a petition calling for that which was tabled in the National Assembly yet completely ignored by the Ministry of Justice.
Dumont is now using his new website (www.injusticequebec.ca) to denounce the treatment he as well as other Quebec victims of miscarriages of justice have received and that this minister continues to ignore.
Contact: Michel Dumont (cell.): (514) 893-9601
Carlo Tarini, Impact Communication (514) 916-2436
November 17, 1990 In Boisbriand the plaintiff with the initials "D.L." is alleged to have been threatened with death, forcibly confined and held at knifepoint against her will, and ultimately sexually assaulted.
November 20, 1990 Three days later, she goes to Boisbriand police. According to the police report, the victim described her assailant as having tattoos on his forearms and not wearing glasses.
December 20, 1990 Michel Dumont, who can't see without his glasses and has no tattoos, isarrested.
June 25, 1991 Michel Dumont is found guilty. No DNA test was done, no fingerprints taken. The evidence is weak aside from the victim's statement. The testimony of several witnesses that he was with friends is rejected. He is imprisoned for four months while awaiting sentencing because presiding judge Céline Pelletier is suspended from her duties for drunk driving.
January 6, 1992 Michel Dumont is sentenced to 52 months in prison by Judge Céline Pelletier. He appeals and is released from prison on January 27, 1992.
Spring 1992 The victim D.L. says she has doubts. She says she saw Michel Dumont's double in a video club. She believes she made a mistake about her assailant's identity. On June 23, 1992, she signs an affidavit that clears Michel Dumont yet is never given to the defence.
February 14, 1994 Michel Dumont's appeal is denied.
July 15, 1994 Michel Dumont is again arrested. He begins serving 34 months in prison.
September 28 and November 4, 1994 The victim again tells two different investigators she made a mistake and once again clears Michel Dumont.
March 3 and 31, 1995 Solange Tremblay, Michel Dumont's new spouse, writes two letters to federal Justice Minister Allan Rock. A case is opened under section 690 on miscarriage of justice.
February 27, 1997 The victim D.L. confirms her statements clearing Michel Dumont on Jean-Luc Mongrain's Television show on Télé-Québec. She does the same on Radio-Canada's Enjeux.
May 23, 1997 Michel Dumont is released.
Fall 1997 Michel Dumont explains his situation to the media, including Le Journal de Montréal and La Presse, which take an interest in his case.
February 10, 1998 Appointed by the Department of Justice Canada, attorney Isabel Schurman, hears the victim's testimony that clears Michel Dumont.
October 4, 2000 Justice Minister Anne McLellan refers the case to the Quebec Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal hears the case on February 13, 2001.
February 22, 2001 Michel Dumont is unanimously cleared of all charges by the three Court of Appeal justices. His criminal record will be wiped out. He was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
July 17, 2009 The Superior Court of Quebec rejects Michel Dumont's lawsuit for compensation.
November 16, 2012 The Supreme Court of Canada rejects Michel Dumont's appeal of the Superior Court of Quebec's judgment.