How a Pitt Meadows sexual assault case was solved 37 years later
In 1979, Scott Magri was sexually assaulted in a Pitt Meadows trailer park.
Only 10 years old at the time, he didn’t know the man’s name, and he didn’t tell anybody what happened.
But he also never forgot.
“I always look over there. It’s a memory that just won’t go away,” said Magri, walking through Meadow Highlands Co-op.
“I had five suicide attempts. The first when I was 18 years old. I had parked my car 100 yards from the train tracks and planned on driving into a moving train.”
For decades, Gilles Joseph Paul Brophy, the Canada Post employee who asked Magri into step into his van to stuff flyers, escaped notice.
However, after Magri spoke about the assault in his 2012 autobiography, he began speaking with Ridge Meadows RCMP, who decided to investigate the case.
“I was putting my life down on paper, and then realized I should do something about this for other victims, if there is any,” said Magri.
Brophy was tracked down in Quebec in part because of the work Magri and his mother, Carol, did to find him — scanning old phone books and finding others who lived in the area in the late 70s.
The years-long process was emotionally taxing for both of them.
“Scott would say, ‘Let’s just leave it, I don’t want to do it anymore.’ A month or so would go by, the RCMP would contact him, and that would get us going again,” Carol said.
“This has been five years of this, non-stop, 24/7.”
On November 18, 2015, Brophy was arrested in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week.
“Brophy received a nine-month conditional sentence on March 9, 2016 on a charge of indecent assault,” wrote Neil MacKenzie, spokesperson for the Criminal Justice Branch.
“He was also placed on probation for a year to follow, was required to provide a DNA sample for the national data bank, and was prohibited for two years…from attending certain designated locations where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present.”
Now Magri and his mother are speaking out — not only against a sentence they say is too lenient, but also because they want any other possible victims to know they can come forward.
“Hopefully, if there’s other victims out there, they can see this and come forward and get closure for themselves,” he said.
– With files from Jill Bennett