Bristol County DA Press Release
A 48-year-old Fairhaven man who raped a foster juvenile living in his home was convicted at trial last week in Fall River Superior Court, and sentenced to serve up to 13-and-a-half years in state prison, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Benoit Leclerc was convicted by a jury of his peers of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, rape, rape with force, posing a child in a state of nudity, engaging in sex for a fee, intimidation of a witness, and attempting to procure perjury.
The victim, a juvenile girl, was a foster child who was placed to live with her aunt and her boyfriend (the defendant) in April of 2011. In August of 2011 when the child was 15, the defendant first raped her in his bed. The sexual abuse of the victim continued until the child was removed from the home in March of 2013.
The defendant had used gifts, threats and violence to sexually abuse the victim and to keep her silent. At one point, the defendant secretly recorded himself having sex with the victim. Later, the victim disclosed to police what was happening after school officials noticed she had an injury to her face.
While the investigation was proceeding, the defendant secretly contacted the victim and attempted to have her recant her allegations by offering her gifts, jewelry and telling her that he wanted to marry her.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney William McCauley and the sentence was imposed by Fall River Superior Court Judge Karen Green. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Green also ordered the defendant to be placed on probation for five years upon his release. The way the sentence is structured, Leclerc will have to serve a minimum of 11 years.
“This defendant took advantage of his role as a foster parent and 30 year age difference by committing despicable crimes against the victim,” District Attorney Quinn said. “The defendant more than deserves the sentences imposed by the court. I hope the victim can now find some peace and move forward with her life.”
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