Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

MONCTON: A Northern New Brunswick woman will be sentenced this spring for sexually exploiting a young person. Bianca Chouinard, 26, of Campbellton, appeared in Moncton provincial court on Oct. 26 for the start of a two day trial, but instead changed her plea to guilty.

Chouinard admitted committing sexual exploitation by touching a young person for a sexual purpose while in a position of trust or authority, between Jan. 1 and June 1, 2019 in Moncton.

Sentencing was set for Thursday but the judge presiding over the case is on sick leave so it couldn’t go ahead. Instead the court set a new sentencing date for May 1. Chouinard had been charged with the indictable version of the offence, which comes with a minimum punishment of one year in jail and a maximum sentence of 14 years.

But prosecutor Annie St. Jacques accepted a guilty plea to the summary version of the offence, which has a minimum punishment of three months in jail and a maximum of two years.

She was unrepresented when she pleaded guilty in October and was supposed to be sentenced Jan. 27. That didn’t happen because she hired a lawyer days before the sentencing. The court adjourned it to Thursday to give the defence more time to get ready.

Agreed Statement of Facts:

In November 2019, a youth went to the RCMP, accompanied by adults, to report Chouinard had sexually exploited him when he was 17. Chouinard was on a student placement at a Moncton youth residence in 2018 and was then hired to work at the residence.

During the first half of 2019 there were multiple instances where Chouinard brought the 17-year-old boy to her home, and they had sexual intercourse.

Chouinard agreed with the facts and the judge confirmed her guilty plea. A publication ban is in place so nothing can be reported that would identify the victim.

By Admin

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