Former Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot Dépanneur Atlantide owner, Korey Foomani, has been declared guilty on two counts of sexual aggression and sexual interference. The verdict was reached on February 21 at the Valleyfield Courthouse, following Foomani’s arrest by Sûreté du Québec officers on June 20, 2018.
Arrest and Conviction
Foomani’s reprehensible acts unfolded behind the front counter and in the back office of the store over a span of three years, from 2015 to 2018. The victims, two females, were nine and twelve years old at the time of the incidents. Due to the sensitive nature of the testimony provided by these young girls, journalists were not allowed inside the courtroom during that period.
Acts Committed at the Store
According to Judge Bertrand St-Arnaud’s 27-page judgment presented in court, one of the victims was only eight years old when the first act of sexual aggression occurred. Foomani stood before the judge, often displaying remorse by hanging his head and wiping his eyes. The courtroom proceedings took a distressing turn when Foomani, overwhelmed by the graphic descriptions in the testimony, experienced physical discomfort and had to be assisted by the court constable and his wife.
Testimony and Court Proceedings
During the reading of the testimony, Judge St-Arnaud shared the accounts of the plaintiffs, their parents, their friends’ parents, and a former 19-year-old male employee who had worked at the store in 2018. The employee revealed that he had witnessed Foomani escorting one of the girls to the office at the back of the store, ostensibly to show her surveillance camera footage. Upon leaving the office, Foomani cautioned the employee about the young girl’s alleged candy theft. Additionally, Foomani was known to distribute candy to children who visited the store, sometimes even allowing them to buy it despite their lack of funds.
Inconsistencies in Foomani’s Defense
In his defence, Foomani, represented by lawyers Jean Dury and Samantha Di Done, vehemently denied the accusations brought against him. However, Judge St-Arnaud uncovered inconsistencies in Foomani’s statements. Initially, Foomani claimed that the girls never entered the back office and were always in the front. Yet, he later conceded the possibility that the girls may have been in the back despite the office being restricted by a numeric keypad code. Furthermore, Foomani contradicted himself regarding the position of one of the plaintiffs in the room, initially stating she was on the other side of the desk but later admitting that she wouldn’t have been able to see the computer screen from that vantage point. Judge St-Arnaud regarded Foomani’s explanations as both “curious and lame.”
Credibility of the Victims’ Accounts
In stark contrast to Foomani’s defence, Judge St-Arnaud deemed the girls’ accounts highly credible. He noted their attentive listening, absence of exaggeration, and promptness in answering questions. Their individual testimonies aligned and provided mutual corroboration, adding weight to their claims.
Outcome and Prosecutor’s Statement
While nine of the original eleven charges, including forcible confinement, were dropped, Crown Prosecutor Kim Émond expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the trial. The conviction on two counts of sexual aggression and interference signifies a significant step in delivering justice for the victims and holding Foomani accountable for his reprehensible actions.