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Montreal man handed 18-year sentence for abusing African girl he brought to Canada

Police said preliminary information indicates the driver lost control of her vehicle and struck the five people who were in the parking lot, located on Sunshine Street. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mario Beauregard

A Montreal man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for bringing an eight-year-old girl from Africa to Canada and sexually exploiting her over a three-year period.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday by Superior Court Justice Pierre Labelle at the Montreal courthouse.

Court documents state Sylvain Villemaire, a former school counsellor, paid the girl’s mother and claimed he would provide her with a good education in Canada. The girl’s country of origin cannot be named because of a court order protecting her identity.

READ MORE: 10, including 2 teens, charged in southern Alberta human trafficking investigation

Documents state Villemaire, 60, kept the girl as a prisoner until she was 11, sexually exploiting her multiple times a week, at times with another person.

He pleaded guilty to sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography, in September 2020. He was found guilty of trafficking a minor and distribution of child pornography on Feb. 12, 2021.

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Prosecutor Amelie Rivard has filed a request to have Villemaire declared a dangerous offender. That request will be heard by the court Oct. 12.

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