Moncton kidnapper to remain in prison, parole board rules

Romeo Cormier's request to be released from prison again was denied by the Parole Board of Canada in a Jan. 20 decision. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Romeo Cormier's request to be released from prison again was denied by the Parole Board of Canada in a Jan. 20 decision. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The Parole Board of Canada has ruled Moncton kidnapper Romeo Cormier should remain in prison, saying he presents too much risk to be in the community.

The 76-year-old kidnapped a woman at knifepoint and held her captive for nearly a month in Moncton while he sexually assaulted her in 2010.

He was released from prison Sept. 8 last year after reaching his statutory release date, a point at which inmates are released to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community under supervision. But Cormier was sent back to prison in early October, though few details were made public at the time.

A Jan. 20 decision by the parole board says the board opted to deny Cormier's request to be released again.

'Potential for violence'

The decision written in French says the board "is of the opinion that you will pose an unacceptable risk to society if you are released and that your release will not contribute to the protection of society by favouring your social reintegration as a law-abiding citizen."

The decision says Cormier had not presented an alternative release plan that reduces his risk of reoffending.

It goes on to say the board "remains concerned about your potential for violence and your shortcomings in emotional management and problem solving."

The decision offers new details about what transpired last year when he was released and then put back in prison.

It says Cormier was released to a halfway house, where on Oct. 5, he was "hostile and disrespectful to the program officer."

He challenged other residents who made comments about him, later placing himself in a doorway with a broom, and interrupted a meeting between a worker and another resident.

The decision said the worker feared for their safety, though Cormier later said he only had the broom because he had just finished chores.

Cormier admitted various facts about the events in written submissions and during a hearing about his request to be released again.

However, "you greatly minimized the extent of your aggressi,ve and threatening behaviour," the board tells Cormier in its decision.

He will be back before the board automatically within a year for consideration of full parole.

Held woman for nearly a month

Cormier was sentenced in August 2011 to 16 years and seven months in prison, after a jury found him guilty of six charges related to abducting the woman.

The victim, whose name is protected under a publication ban, was kidnapped from a busy downtown mall in Moncton after work on Feb. 26, 2010. She was kept in the basement of a rooming house for 26 days, forced repeatedly to perform sexual acts and threatened.

At one point, when Cormier left her alone, she freed herself and flagged down a truck driver for help. He drove her to the police station, court heard during the trial.