March 1, 2019 5:28 pm
Updated: March 1, 2019 6:31 pm

Longueuil pastor, wife who allegedly used corporal punishment on children granted bail

WATCH: A Longueuil pastor and his wife are facing multiple charges of abuse against minors, dating back to 1974. As Global's Amanda Jelowicki explains, police say the couple encouraged members of their congregation to physically harm their children.

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For decades, Longueuil police say Mario Monette and his wife, Carole Van Houtte, ruled their Baptist church with an iron fist, intimidating and encouraging members of their congregation to commit violent acts against their own children.

“You are never prepared for such news so, unfortunately, it’s sad,” said police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Voutsinos.

The couple faces 32 counts of armed assault, assault, uttering threats, inflicting corporal injuries on eight minor victims and inciting others to commit crimes.

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After a brief hearing in a Longueuil court, Monette and Van Houtte were each released on $500 bail with strict conditions not to speak to their victims.

They had to surrender their passports and aren’t allowed to run a church.

Monette has been the pastor of the South Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church in Saint-Hubert for 35 years. Longueuil police started investigating the couple one year ago after two people lodged complaints against them.

READ MORE: Longueuil pastor, wife arrested for allegedly using corporal punishment on children

Police say the alleged offences occurred over a 45-year period dating back to 1974. Police contend that the couple had psychological control over many in the congregation.

The couple also faces charges of encouraging members of their congregation to physically punish their own children.

“The members of the church were under strong psychological stress, and they (Monette and Van Houtte) had psychological control over these members, obviously, so inciting the followers to (do) bodily harm (to) their children over and over and over again,” said Voutsinos.

Monette and his wife came under scrutiny last year, when one of their sons accused them of running a cult in a radio interview. He also alleged that his parents regularly beat him and his siblings.

Police say it’s possible that more victims may come forward and more charges could be laid.

The couple are due back in court on April 29.

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