The murder of Marylène Lévesque is the direct consequence of changes our Liberal government made to the Parole Board of Canada’s nomination process in 2017, says two former board members.
Those changes meant most of the existing parole board was replaced with people with no experience at all.
Convicted murderer Eustachio Gallese benefitted from that lack of experience and their refusal to take his violent past into consideration.
- In 1997 Eustachio Gallese was convicted for assaulting a former intimate partner.
- In 2004, Eustachio Gallese beat Chantale Deschenes, then his intimate partner, to death with a hammer and then stabbed her with a knife repeatedly.
In 2006 Gallese was convicted for second-degree murder for killing Deschenes. The judge sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 15 years. Eustachio Gallese shouldn’t have been granted any type of parole until 2021.
The Parole Board’s brilliant “risk management strategy” consisted of granting the murderer day parole “but only to respond to your sexual needs.”
The Parole Board decided to put the “sexual needs” of a convicted killer ahead of their mandate to protect public safety.
The Montreal Gazette notes the Parole Board expressed concern about releasing Eustachio Gallese because of the “worrying and significant risk factor” posed by the convicted killer.
They clearly weren’t worried enough about the “significant risk factor” to deny Gallese day parole however – a decision that cost another young woman her life.
An experienced board member would revoke Gallese’s parole, said Jean-Claude Boyer, a former member of the Parole Board of Canada, as soon as they learned a man with a history of violence against women was granted permission to frequent sex workers by his case worker.
One relevant question remains.
Why did Marylène Lévesque agree to meet Eustachio Gallese at a hotel after he was banned from the erotic massage parlour where she worked for his previous violent episodes with other sex workers?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know what led to Lévesque’s fatal lapse in judgment.
In the meantime, political opportunists like Public Safety Minister Bill Blair take full advantage of the opportunity to grandstand in front of television cameras.
The Commissioner of Correctional Services and the Chair of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) will investigate, Minister Blair insists.
On February 26, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament:
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Marylène Levesque. It is a tragic loss for any family to have to face. The individual has been arrested and is facing charges.
We know people have difficult questions to ask, and that is why Correctional Service Canada and the Parole Board are launching a board of investigation into the circumstances that led to this tragic case. I will emphasize that the review includes two external vice-chairs. The findings of course will be made public.”
I’m sure the prime minister’s hollow words are a great consolation to the family and friends of Marylène Lévesque, given it was changes made under Justin Trudeau’s watch that led directly to the murder of their daughter and friend.