18 January 2008


Two updates on stories involving violent assaults on women today.

When I first heard this story last summer, I was profoundly shaken. Though I regularly encounter gruesome stories of men's violence against women, this one left me in a daze for most of the day. It also motivated me to get involved with the White Ribbon Campaign, a group that I had known of for several years but had never joined. Today, the Chronicle-Herald provided the first update on the situation, as Michael Robichaud pleaded guilty in court.

Scarred for life
Michael Robicheau was worried he would attack again. Ten days after the parole board released him from prison, he did this. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty.
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter Fri. Jan 18 - 5:14 AM

Michael Robicheau pleaded guilty Thursday to raping a Dartmouth gas station attendant. He had been released from prison to a halfway house just 10 days earlier.
A 45-year-old woman who was raped and nearly killed while working the overnight shift at a Dartmouth gas station has harsh words for the parole board that released her attacker.
A DARTMOUTH gas station clerk who was raped and whose throat was slit during an overnight shift last summer defiantly lowered her turtleneck and showed her scar to reporters Thursday.
"This is what he’s done to me," the 45-year-old woman said of Michael Derrick Robicheau, who moments earlier had pleaded guilty to five charges in Dartmouth provincial court.
Mr. Robicheau, who had been released from federal prison on statutory parole just 10 days before the Aug. 21 attack, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, sexual assault, robbery, unlawful confinement and possessing a weapon.
The Crown wants Mr. Robicheau, 32, declared a dangerous offender and sent to prison for an indefinite term, until he is no longer considered a risk to society.
Mr. Robicheau agreed to be remanded to the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth for a dangerous-offender assessment. He returns to court March 6.
The victim, whose name is banned from publication, said she hoped to have the satisfaction of making eye contact with Mr. Robicheau in court Thursday, "but he wouldn’t look at me."
"My life has changed a great deal since this has happened because he’s harmed me internally as well as externally," she said.
"I want to get back to the person that I was."

Psych assessment for teenager who allegedly attacked ex-girlfriend
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter Fri. Jan 18 - 5:36 AM
A Dartmouth teen charged after his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her mother were attacked in their home last month is undergoing a psychiatric assessment.
The assessment at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth was ordered last week for Jonathan Peter Rees, 18, of Windward Avenue, who is accused of attempting to murder Ashley Laing, 18.
He is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assaulting police and single counts of break and enter, violating a recognizance and breaching probation.
The assessment is to be completed by Jan. 24, when Mr. Rees returns to Dartmouth provincial court.
Ms. Laing, who is carrying Mr. Rees’s child, and Heather Moffatt, 46, were attacked Dec. 21. A man broke into their home on Topsail Boulevard in Dartmouth and beat the women with a blunt object before trying to take his own life by stabbing himself in the neck with a knife.
Both women suffered broken bones and cuts in the attack. An ultrasound showed the baby, due May 28, was unharmed.

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