Former children’s aid worker Sandra Forcier has been sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of sexual assault crimes committed while working in a group home in Prince Edward County, Ont.
In October 2021, Forcier was convicted of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation in relation to one victim, who was not in her care while she was a supervisor at a Highland Shores Children’s Aid group home. She was found guilty of another count of sexual exploitation in relation to a youth whom she met as a ward of the group home.
The incidents took place during 2012 and 2013 inside the group home and eventually at Forcier’s home.
In a letter written by Forcier and read to the court, she maintained her regret for the incidents and pointed to her past and ongoing mental health struggles as reasons why the crimes were committed.
“I meant no harm. I saw them as my peers,” Forcier said.
Forcier has been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia for which she is currently seeking treatment.
When reading his sentence, Judge Patrick Hurley said he believed the offences would have happened regardless of Forcier’s mental health state and drug use, and that she is a mild to medium risk to re-offend.
“None of the witnesses observed anything that would indicate significant mental problems, and she was considered a capable employee,” Judge Hurley said.
“She lacks insight into her illness and the problematic nature of her drug abuse. She will require close monitoring to ensure abstinence from any drug use if she must be encouraged to start a trial of medication,” he added.
Forcier was credited with eight months time served for the time she’s already spent in custody and received more credit because more of that time came during a pandemic.
She’s also subject to a DNA sample for the sex offender registry, as well as a 10-year weapons prohibition.