Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Jail worker faces sex-plot charges
35-year-old accused in alleged conspiracy is a risk: CrownGraeme Hamilton
MONTREAL - The Crown said yesterday it will oppose bail for a 35-year-old-woman, an employee of the province's Correctional Services, who is alleged to have conspired with an imprisoned rapist and another man to commit a sexual assault.
Louis Miville-Deschênes, the Crown prosecutor, told reporters Marlene Chalfoun is "absolutely" a risk to society and should be detained until her trial. Ms. Chalfoun, who was arrested last Thursday, appeared briefly in court, but her bail hearing was postponed until tomorrow.
The charges against her allege that she conspired with Nick Paccione, a serial rapist who was declared a dangerous offender in 2000, and Angelo Colalillo, who was arrested last Thursday and charged with sexually assaulting a Montreal woman last July 17.
Commander Pierre Leduc, head of the Montreal police sexual-assault squad, said that officers uncovered the alleged plot involving Ms. Chalfoun while investigating the July 17 attack. Commander Leduc said the arrests were made before the planned assault could be carried out. Asked what could have motivated Ms. Chalfoun, he replied, "Probably revenge."
Ms. Chalfoun's lawyer, Jean-Marc Tremblay, said he learned yesterday that his client will face an additional charge. The charge, acting as an accomplice after the fact to a sexual assault, was filed at the courthouse yesterday, but Ms. Chalfoun has not yet been arraigned on it.
Mr. Tremblay said he will seek to have the charges against Ms. Chalfoun quashed on the grounds that they do not specify when the assault was to take place or who was the intended victim. He told Quebec Court Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traore repeatedly that the delay in holding a bail hearing was unacceptable. "
Mr. Miville-Deschênes said he is confident there is sufficient evidence to warrant detaining Ms. Chalfoun. "The evidence revealed by the investigation shows these are three people who knew each other and corresponded with each other," he said, describing them as "acquaintances" and "people who shared similar interests."
Ms. Chalfoun has been suspended with pay since her arrest, said Guy Samson, a Correctional Services spokesman. She worked as a parole officer from 1992 to 1999 and, since 2000, has co-ordinated business between Correctional Services and the Montreal courthouse. He described her as "an excellent employee," adding her arrest has stunned her co-workers.
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