Ex-cop, hockey coach Francois Lamarre arraigned on sex charges involving minors

Ex-cop, hockey coach Francois Lamarre arraigned on sex charges involving minors

LONGUEUIL, Que. — A former Montreal police officer and local hockey coach accused of nine sex-related charges involving minors has made his first court appearance.

Francois Lamarre was visibly pale and frail in a wheelchair pushed by his brother as he appeared at a courthouse in a Montreal suburb.

He faces charges of gross indecency, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching involving four alleged victims who were boys between the ages of nine and 16 at the time.

Lamarre, who retired from the Montreal police force in 1994, was a hockey coach in the Montreal suburb of Greenfield Park from 1970 to 1980.

Some of the alleged victims were youth involved in hockey, while others lived in Lamarre’s neighbourhood.

The infractions are alleged to have been committed between 1972 and 1997 at Lamarre’s home, in his car and at arenas. Lamarre went by “Frank” at the time of the alleged offences.

Lamarre didn’t have a lawyer Thursday so the Crown was unable to provide the evidence against him, as policy dictates it must be given to a defence attorney, prosecutor Jean-Sebastien Bussieres explained.

Quebec court Judge Dominique Dudemaine put the case off until Feb. 4 and told Lamarre to find a lawyer.

When asked if he could be present on that date, Lamarre told the judge he wasn’t sure because of his failing health, noting he had lost consciousness in the courthouse parking lot.

Lamarre was arrested earlier this month and released under strict conditions, including an order not to be in the presence of minors.

Police announced this week that 16 potential victims have emerged since Lamarre’s arrest — people from Quebec but also Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and the United States.

Bussieres said no new charges have been filed but didn’t rule out the possibility.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2019.

The Canadian Press