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CANADA

Judicial CP - February 1965



The Ottawa Citizen, 4 February 1965

25 years, strap for Levesque

By Joe Finn
Citizen staff writer

Found guilty here yesterday of rape and robbery with violence, 24-year-old Victor "Pretty Boy" Levesque was sentenced to 25 years on each count to run concurrently, and ordered to be strapped.

The sentence was imposed by Mr Justice Lieff immediately after an Assize Court jury rendered a verdict in the eight-day trial after deliberating only 30 minutes.

Levesque was convicted in connection with a hooded gang robbery at the home of Ottawa surgeon Dr Edward I. Shapiro on the night of Nov. 16, 1963, during which a young Jamaican domestic was raped.

Well-groomed

Well groomed and dressed in a smartly tailored, dark green suit, Levesque appeared completely composed as he stood in the prisoner's dock.

He smiled slightly when Mr Justice Lieff passed the 25-year sentence, but his lips tightened perceptibly when the justice added "and you will be given fifteen strokes of the strap."

Levesque was already under sentences totalling more than 20 years, imposed in Quebec courts for robbery and other offences.

Yesterday's long term will be served concurrently with the other sentences, and Levesque will not be eligible for parole for upwards of fifteen years.

The former Cornwall man, whose criminal career began in that city in 1958, when he was placed on one year's probation following a housbreaking conviction, had his brief say before sentence was passed.

Speaking slowly and in perfect English, he informed the court that he felt his trial had not been a fair one.

"Certain evidence came back to me last night while I was in my jail cell," he declared. "I told the officers in the jail that I wanted to make a defence, and this was denied me.

"I want to say here and now that while I admit I have been a robber, I have never been a rapist."

Levesque was advised to consult his lawyer.

Levesque was brought back into court this morning to hear Mr Justice Lieff direct that he is to receive eight strokes of the strap at various intervals during the first 30 days in penitentiary, and that the remaining seven strokes are to be administered during the 25th month of the sentence.

Defence counsel Thomas Swabey said this morning that he will appeal Levesque's conviction.

Levesque, who has a wife and child living in Cornwall, was taken back to the county jail immediately after sentence was passed.

He was shackled to two police officers, and the route to the jail, via a basement tunnel from the court house, was guarded by other officers until the solid steel jail door closed behind the convicted man.



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