A judge on Tuesday acquitted an elder accused of soliciting the sexual services of a minor, and even returned the $ 160 he had with him to pay the young woman.
François St-Georges heaved a deep sigh of relief when his acquittal was pronounced.
It was Judge Gilles Garneau who gave him this Christmas present in advance, Tuesday, at the Laval courthouse.
The 70-year-old retiree thus becomes the first of the 37 defendants of the Defensive Project to succeed in court. Thirteen have been convicted so far.
This operation was set up by the Laval police in the spring of 2016, when a major wave of runaways hit the Cartier youth center.
Detective Sergeant Luc Savard had concocted a fictitious message offering Mia and Tiana’s sexual services on classified ad sites.
Customers interested in the “two young beginners” should contact “Mme Jade ”, a pimp personified by an undercover agent.
It was she who had the task of informing those who requested her that the escorts were only 16 years old.
François St-Georges was the first to call Mme Jade, March 22, 2016, to have full sex with Tiana.
On his way to the Comfort Inn hotel, located along Highway 15, the Rosemère resident first met the undercover agent, who reminded him of the young girl’s age. .
The elder then proceeded to a second bedroom, where he came face to face with two Laval police investigators, who arrested him on the spot.
They also seized from him the sum of $ 160, intended to pay Tiana.
“Looks very young”
During the trial last month, Mr. St-Georges swore he never wanted to sleep with a minor.
According to him, Mme Jade only told him that the escort looked “very young.”
Due to inconsistencies between the testimony of the undercover officer and her notes taken on the day of the event, Mr. St-Georges’ version sowed reasonable doubt in the mind of Justice Garneau.
The magistrate therefore acquitted the septuagenarian and ordered that he be given back the banknotes and cell phone seized during his arrest.