A former Hamilton police officer will not go to jail for sexually assaulting the woman he was mentoring as she pursued her own career in policing.

Michael LaCombe, 54, will instead serve 12 months of house arrest followed by 12 months of probation after Justice Cameron Watson found him guilty of two counts of sexual assault in January, following a trial.

Watson sentenced LaCombe on Monday at the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Ont., describing his crimes and the aftermath as “a spectacular and cataclysmic fall from grace” in his written decision.

“His life has taken an irreparable downward spiral. He is no longer the man he once was,” Watson wrote.

Watson also described how LaCombe’s conduct “devastated” the victim, who has felt isolated and suffers from panic attacks, among other impacts, in recent years.

  • girlfreddyOP
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    131
    arrow-down
    2
    ·
    edit-2
    2 months ago

    “His life has taken an irreparable downward spiral. He is no longer the man he once was,” Watson wrote.

    That is not a valid reason to allow a rapist to escape jail time.

    ACAB

    • thefartographer@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      39
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      edit-2
      2 months ago

      But what if he’s super duper sorry??? /s

      Fuck this “his downfall was his punishment,” shit.

      • Kichae
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        16
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        That’s what we get when we have a punishment system, rather than a justice system. This guy has had his feel bad, so everyone’s square!

        Public safety? No thank you! We’re here to trade mildly reduced visual clarity for an eye!

    • some_guy@lemmy.sdf.org
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      3
      ·
      2 months ago

      But the judge said he wouldn’t face jail time before hearing both sides. That’s pretty normal. /s

    • BlameThePeacock
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      33
      arrow-down
      38
      ·
      edit-2
      2 months ago

      Sexual assault, yes. Rape, no.

      He removed her shirt and bra and kissed her without consent. No intercourse (including the standard variants thereof) occurred. She protested, and he drove her home.

      That’s basic sexual assault based on the legal definitions (there are two higher definitions for using weapons or causing bodily harm) and there is no legal minimum for basic sexual assault (of an adult)

      • HikingVet
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        35
        arrow-down
        9
        ·
        2 months ago

        The pig should be in jail, and you shouldn’t be making excuses for him.

        • BlameThePeacock
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          46
          arrow-down
          17
          ·
          2 months ago

          I’m not making excuses, I’m being specific and correct. Rape (which isn’t defined in the Canadian criminal code) has a very clear definition understood by the public (and defined in law elsewhere) as requiring penetration of some sort.

          You’re actually defaming him (and therefore guilty of libel under Canadian Criminal law) for accusing him of something which is not true and could harm his reputation further.

          In your opinion, how many years of jail should be given to someone who kisses another person without their consent? Or does that part of this situation not warrant jail time? Should there be a mandatory minimum for any form of sexual assault? How many years then for the more serious offence of removing someone’s shirt and bra without their consent?

          • HikingVet
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            8
            arrow-down
            8
            ·
            edit-2
            2 months ago

            who kisses another person without their consent

            You are seriously are doubling down on defending people who sexually assault people. No consent is assault and that can get you jail time.

            The pig was in a position of power and is supposed to be better than the average person.

            I’m not defaming him, as it’s my opinion that he is a pig and deserves jail time for his actions.

            Edit: either a lot of people don’t know what defamation is, or they are hand waving sexual assault.

          • girlfreddyOP
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            19
            arrow-down
            27
            ·
            2 months ago

            I’m being specific and correct.

            You’re being pedantic. Caring more about the rules of language than the fact a woman’s life has been decimated by a rapey cop doesn’t help your argument.

            • BlameThePeacock
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              38
              arrow-down
              8
              ·
              2 months ago

              The law is very pedantic.

              and I’m not making an argument, I’m just clarifying terminology.

              • jerkface
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                1
                ·
                27 days ago

                You just fucking said you weren’t making a legal argument, that the term was not defined in the law in the relevant jurisdiction. But now that you realize you’ve crawled out too far on a shaky limb, you’re still turning to “it’s not my opinion, it’s just the law!”

                Doesn’t work that way.

              • girlfreddyOP
                link
                fedilink
                arrow-up
                6
                arrow-down
                17
                ·
                2 months ago

                And placing your perception of language over and above that of a woman whose life has been devastated by a fucking cop.

                Maybe you could place what happened as more important than the specific language used.

                • lazynooblet@lazysoci.al
                  link
                  fedilink
                  English
                  arrow-up
                  15
                  arrow-down
                  3
                  ·
                  2 months ago

                  I think you’re missing the point. The law needs to be specific. It describes levels of criminal activity and in this case details how the law differentiates between what the law calls “rape” and “sexual assault”.

                  Sure, from our perspective that girl got raped, and that’s how I would describe it. But the law doesn’t.

            • blargerer@kbin.social
              cake
              link
              fedilink
              arrow-up
              28
              arrow-down
              6
              ·
              2 months ago

              No its not. Rape is a subcategory of Sexual Assault not the other way around. What this guy did was wrong. He is (probably) facing too light of a punishment for it (article says the crown wanted double). I’m just not an expert on these matters at all. But he didn’t rape her. Period.

            • BlameThePeacock
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              20
              arrow-down
              5
              ·
              2 months ago

              If writing fictional stories about teenagers having sex should result in being a sex offender, why is George R. R. Martin allowed in Canada? Game of Thrones (the books) have multiple graphic passages about the rape of minors, Sansa was 12 years old in the books. Even in the show, which aired in Canada, she was still underage.

              Your logic is flawed, writing fictional stories shouldn’t be a criminal offense, and even with it being illegal in Canada it isn’t applied equally.

              Rape is sexual assault, sexual assault is not always rape. Just like an apple is a fruit, but not all fruits are apples.

              Words matter, and yours aren’t correct. They don’t align with legal definitions in countries that define rape, with the common dictionary definitions, or with the common public understanding of the word.

      • Kichae
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        28
        arrow-down
        17
        ·
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        iT’s OnLy RaPe If He GoT hIs DiCk WeT

        Dear god. Listen to yourself.

        Like, straight up, if you’re playing apologetics for a fucking cop who sexually assaulted someone by trying to well-akshually rape, you need to deeply probe your motivations there. Because I promise you, you don’t have good ones.

        • BlameThePeacock
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          29
          arrow-down
          7
          ·
          2 months ago

          He attempted to have an affair. The fact that he stopped when she protested and drove her home instead indicates he didn’t attempt or intend to rape her. He still absolutely committed sexual assault though which is why he was found guilty. Consent for any sort of sexual encounter needs to come first, not during or after, and removing someone’s shirt and bra definitely requires consent.

          When dealing with situations like this, it’s important to be very clear and precise. There’s unfortunately a lot of actual rapes that occur, and they shouldn’t be muddied by situations where someone calls rape when it isn’t leading to people downplaying real rapes.

          It’s the same reason I don’t like seeing people put on the sex offender list for public urination just because it happened near a school (even if there were no youth there at the time) or like the case of a man that got put on the list just a couple years ago for writing a short sexual story (completely fictional) simply because it contained teenagers who weren’t 18 yet.

          • girlfreddyOP
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            10
            arrow-down
            14
            ·
            2 months ago

            Later that month, LaCombe “contrived another opportunity to meet” and picked the victim up in his own car, without initially telling her where they were going, and brought her to a hotel, Paquette said.

            He kidnapped her and took her to a hotel room.

            In the room, he handed her a dress he bought from Value Village, and she went into the washroom but didn’t change into it, the defence said. When she emerged, LaCombe picked her up without her consent, pulled her on top of him, took off her top and bra and kissed her.

            Then he wants her to dress up for him AGAINST HER WILL.

            • knatschus@discuss.tchncs.de
              link
              fedilink
              arrow-up
              14
              arrow-down
              6
              ·
              2 months ago

              What you do is dangerous and can be harmfull for victims. With blowing up the severity of cases like this, you reduce the the severity of kidnapping and rape cases in the minds of people reading your claims.

              She wasn’t beaten up and dragged into his car, that’s what i imagine when i think of kidnapping and it should stay that way.

              • HikingVet
                link
                fedilink
                arrow-up
                2
                ·
                2 months ago

                Taking someone to a place under false pretenses. Then telling her to change into clothes that she didn’t want to wear. Then sexually assaulting her.

                That definitely sounds like kidnapping and attempted rape to me. Just because she was let go doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a crime.

              • jerkface
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                1
                ·
                edit-2
                27 days ago

                He used his authority and position in the community to sexually exploit someone who was vulnerable and IN HIS FUCKING CARE BECAUSE THEY WERE A VULNERABLE PERSON. You’re being such an asshole right now, how can you not understand that.

                When there is a power dynamic, what might in another context be a simple conflict between two equal people completely changes in nature.

      • DerisionConsulting
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        5
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        2 months ago

        Exactly, I’ve had my dick grabbed/felt up, and had people try to strip me. It’s assault, not rape.

        Both are bad and should be punished, but one is way worse. By calling all sexual assaults rape, it almost feels like it’s eroding the word “rape” to something lesser.

        This predator needs to be punished.

      • jerkface
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        1
        ·
        27 days ago

        That’s exploiting a power dynamic to force themself sexually on an unwilling person. That’s rape. Laws don’t define words, it does not matter what the definition of the crime of the same name is, that woman was raped.

  • Ballistic_86@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    26
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    2 months ago

    This man’s rape conviction has ruined his life, that is punishment enough. -A lot of judges apparently

    Cut to this man being hired at another department while he under house arrest. He gets work release and bam, rapist cop back out on the street, even while on probation.

  • Ulrich_the_Old
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    16
    ·
    2 months ago

    We want the same penalties for everyone who commits a crime. It should never matter what the criminals job is nor how much money they make. The same penalties should apply to EVERYONE!!!

    • karlhungus
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      2 months ago

      In most cases yes. However in the cases of fines poor people are more penalized than wealthy, so there should be some proportional consideration there.

    • Jaybob32
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      2 months ago

      Unfortunately this is consistent with other sexual assault sentences here. From what I’ve seen anyway. Purely anecdotal. Raped and ruined your own children and complicated their lives for all time? 8 months for you. And out for good behaviour in 4. Justice served /s

  • SoleInvictus@lemmy.blahaj.zone
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    14
    ·
    2 months ago

    “… He is no longer the man he once was.”

    Pretty sure that’s not true. I can’t imagine any ethical, sane person waking up one morning and thinking to themselves “you know, I think I will try a little raping today!”

    • Muscar@discuss.online
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      11
      ·
      edit-2
      2 months ago

      He is different in the way that he used to be a rapist, now he’s a rapist that’s been caught but didn’t get legal any consequences.

      Hope ge gets social ones at least, everyone around him knowing what he is.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    2
    arrow-down
    2
    ·
    2 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    Watson sentenced LaCombe on Monday at the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Ont., describing his crimes and the aftermath as “a spectacular and cataclysmic fall from grace” in his written decision.

    “I understand and have no doubt this has destroyed his life and he’s suffering a form of exquisite agony and to keep the sword hanging over his head — not knowing what’s going to happen — in my opinion, as a fellow human being, is unnecessary,” Watson said.

    She feels isolated at work as a police officer, suffers from panic attacks and has developed a “strong fear and distrust of men,” Watson wrote.

    After Watson found him guilty, LaCombe resigned from the police service — before a disciplinary hearing was held — and he was discharged from the military, of which he’d been a member for decades.

    Watson determined LaCombe didn’t deserve incarceration for his crimes because he’s led a life of “exemplary service,” has no prior criminal record and is remorseful, according to his written decision.

    “This offence involved his ham-fisted attempt to engage in an extra marital affair with a friend, albeit with an extremely serious impact on [the victim],” Watson wrote.


    The original article contains 905 words, the summary contains 194 words. Saved 79%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!