Warning: This story contains details of alleged assault that may be disturbing to some readers.
Greenfield Park borough councillor Wade Wilson has come forward as an alleged victim of a retired Montreal police officer and minor hockey coach, who was arrested this week for the alleged sexual abuse of four minors.
Longueuil police put out a call for other potential victims of 71-year-old François Lamarre to come forward on Wednesday morning.
Wilson, a longtime borough councillor, felt compelled to speak out.
“I’m basically here to say that I’m also one of the victims. Not one of the original four victims, but I am one of the victims,” Wilson told Global News.
“I feel it’s my duty as an elected official to come forward and be there to support and help in any way possible.”
Wilson said he met Lamarre when he was around 11 or 12 years old — some 45 years ago.
“We always saw him down at the arena,” Wilson recounted.
“We all knew him — that he was an actual police officer — so he had our trust. He was a great athlete and we thought a friend.”
Wilson said he kept silent about what he alleges happened to him as a young boy until now and pushed it out of mind. He alleges Lamarre would invite him into his car with the premise of going out for ice cream or chicken.
“He would get in the car with you, start wrestling with you and fondling you,” he said.
“I guess at the time I didn’t realize how bad it actually was. We always fought him off type of thing.”
For Wilson, digging up the memories has been painful, but he feels he’s doing the right thing.
He said he’s grateful to the four complainants who approached police.
“It’s now out in the open and I’m not ashamed of it,” he said.
“I would suggest that any other citizens that have to deal with this issue come forward. There’s help there for you and we have to put an end to this type of old behaviour.”
“If there’s anything we can do, services for these victims will be provided by the city, I’m also here to sit down and talk.”
In a joint statement with Wilson, Greenfield Park borough president Robert Myles also applauded the courage of the alleged victims.
“No one should have to go though what these young kids went through,” he said.
“It takes a lot of courage for victims to denounce the perpetrator of sexual abuse.”
The community is available to provide support to survivors, he added.
“Option Longueuil has posted on its Facebook a list of organisations that are available to members of the community that can provide assistance. Copies of this list will be made available at the borough office as well.”
Lamarre faces charges of gross indecency, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching involving four complainants.
None of these allegations have been proven in court. Lamarre is scheduled to appear at the Longueuil courthouse on Dec. 19.
Police arrested Lamarre on Tuesday for questioning, but he was released under several conditions, including not having contact with minors or alleged victims.
He is also barred from going to parks, arenas and community centres — and he cannot be near schools.
— With files from Global’s Olivia O’Malley, Dan Spector, Kalina Laframboise