Michel Frank Bouvier has run out of chances.
Last week in Stony Plain provincial court, Judge Robert Shaigec declared Bouvier a dangerous offender and handed down an indefinite sentence.
The 60-year-old sobbed in court as Shaigec read his 27-page decision, the culmination of a dangerous offender hearing spanning almost a year.
Bouvier has a lengthy and horrifying criminal record. His first sexual assault conviction was in 1979. He was 16 years old and his female victim was 17.
In 1986, he was convicted of aggravated sexual assault for forcing a 20-year-old to have sex with him while he held a knife to her throat.
In 1996, Bouvier was 33 when he offered a 14-year-old girl a beer and forced her into his van on an isolated road in Saskatchewan. When he was convicted of sexual assault causing bodily harm and forcible confinement, the judge called his crimes, “an affliction of horrendous indignity and human degradation.”
Bouvier has spent close to 30 of the last 40 years of his life in jail.
“The only real gaps in his offending were due to his incarceration,” Shaigec noted. “Mr. Bouvier’s sexual offending has consistently victimized young women and girls.”
A decade ago, a Saskatchewan judge determined Bouvier met the criteria for dangerous offender status after convicting him for assault with a weapon, but opted to give him another chance, imposing a prison term followed by a 10-year long term supervision order (LTSO) instead.
After Bouvier served his full sentence, he was released on Nov. 6, 2015 and began his LTSO. On Aug. 5, 2016, he failed to return to an Edmonton halfway house and was declared unlawfully at large.
He had been offered a place to stay in Maskwacis, where he met his next victim, identified by the initials AB.
‘Six months of torture’
AB was 15 years old when she met Bouvier, who held himself out to be a medicine man.
“The word medicine man has a huge impact on me, ” AB wrote in a victim impact statement.
“You were supposed to help me with spirituality, but you took my spirit away,” she said. “You did more harm than anyone who ever mistreated me in life.”
The judge described AB as a vulnerable Indigenous teenager.
“He repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her as she travelled with him across three provinces … all while he was unlawfully at large,” Shaigec said.
The judge found Bouvier used psychological coercion and physical violence to control the teen. Bouvier convinced her that she was “married” to him and that the only way to avoid getting physically hit by him was to submit to sex.
While they were together, Bouvier forced unprotected sex on her, hoping to get her pregnant. He punched her several times, choked her, knocked out her teeth, kicked her in the head and threatened her with a hunting knife.
AB called it, “six months of torture.”
In her statement, she said she suffers from depression and can only get to sleep when she has her bedroom door barricaded.
“You don’t deserve to be in my life ever again,” AB wrote. “The only way I will find inner peace again is when I know you take your last breath.”
‘Last resort sentence is necessary’
A forensic psychologist and a forensic psychiatrist told the dangerous offender hearing that Bouvier was in the 91st percentile on a psychopathy checklist. They determined he presents “a high risk for future violence” and that any violence would likely cause serious harm to victims.
“Michel Bouvier lacks insight into his criminality and is without strategy to prevent reoffense,” the judge concluded. “I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the violent conduct is intractable.”
Shaigec determined a jail sentence of a fixed length followed by another long term supervision order would not be enough to protect the public.
“The last resort sentence is necessary,” Shaigec said as he handed down an indefinite sentence for assault causing bodily harm and two counts of sexual assault.