A retired teacher from Saint-Hyacinthe reportedly took advantage of physical education class to touch the breasts and genitals of elementary school girls, who was denounced after the move #Me too from nine of his former students.
“Unfortunately, I reacted silently and sluggishly; I don’t remember having any defensive or retreating movements. I felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t feeling well,” one of Gilles Robineau’s alleged victims said of the touch.
The now retired professor is charged at the Saint-Hyacinthe courthouse with sexual assault, sexual contact and indecent assault. In the 1970s and 1980s he is said to have killed at least nine victims, all of whom were his students at the time.
Caresses under clothing
The first three alleged victims to testify today were less than 10 years old when Robineau was their physical education teacher at an elementary school in Saint-Hyacinthe. Your identity is protected by a court order.
Photo courtesy of Sûreté du Québec
Former physical education teacher Gilles Robineau during his arrest by the Sûreté du Québec in November 2018.
In particular, he allegedly fondled one of the girls’ breasts several times above and below her leotard while she helped him with materials for class in a small storage room next to the gym. “My breasts were at stage zero, I had no shape,” she said.
During exercises on the vaulting horse, he is said to have touched her pubic bone, sometimes even under her clothing, the woman reported to judge Christian Jarry. “He pulled his hand through his groin,” she said.
With another student, Robineau took the opportunity to attack her during after-school gym class: “He stuck his fingers between my buttocks and the leotard as if he wanted to replace it. After that it continued.”
This time her teacher then rubbed his erect member against her while holding her from behind. “I didn’t even know what it was back then,” says the now mid-fifties shyly.
She didn’t tell anyone at the time because the private lessons after school were “her secret.” Uncomfortably, she ended it after this event.
In the same room
A third alleged victim also said he was touched on the chest in the small storage room at Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin school.
“We were sitting in the gym and he asked me to get some items for class from the room where the items were kept. I was in front of him […] His hands ended up on my breasts,” she said while answering questions from Crown prosecutor Marie-Claude Morin.
Gilles Robineau, defended by Me Brigitte Martin, was handcuffed at his home in Mauricie by the Sûreté du Québec in November 2018. The statements of the six other alleged victims will be heard later this week in the trial of the 72-year-old man.
What they said…
“I loved gymnastics and dancing. My parents couldn’t afford it [inscrire] to the classes. But I broke up, I didn’t want to go there anymore. I was naive at that age, but not naive enough to go back.” — Alleged victim about private gymnastics lessons with her former teacher
“The #metoo movement in fall 2017 revived my memories and the feeling of wanting to do something with them.”
“I didn’t fully understand what was going on and we didn’t talk about it at the time. I stuck with my feelings.” — The first woman to denounce Gilles Robineau, who was allegedly attacked on the premises and during training on the showjumping horse
“I’m freezing. After that, I didn’t want to go any closer to him. I wanted to leave as quickly as possible [du cours d’éducation physique].” – An alleged victim, now 52 years old, who was allegedly shot in the chest in the storage room
Can you share information about this story?
Write to us or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.