CAUTION: The following article contains explicit material that may be distressing for individuals who have encountered sexual violence or have connections to survivors.
Dominic Jacob Deveau, aged 48, a psychotherapist from Nova Scotia, has been given a three-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting two women. The sentencing took place on Friday at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court located in Yarmouth.
Justice Pierre Muise said Deveau’s crimes are more serious because he was in a position of trust and authority over both women. Muise also noted Deveau has a masters degree in psychology and should have known how his crimes would harm his victims.
On March 3, 2019, the initial attack took place. According to the court testimony, Deveau transported his victim to a remote area and engaged in forceful kissing despite her objections. Additionally, Deveau attempted to coerce the woman into performing oral sex. The woman shared that she emotionally detached from her physical self and experienced a vivid recollection of a past traumatic event from her teenage years, causing her to become physically unresponsive.
Following the attack, Deveau transported the woman back to Yarmouth.
The woman testified in court that she experiences chronic stress, lacks trust in men, and has various triggers, one of which is seeing a blue Honda Civic, the same kind of car that Deveau used to drive her in.
Muise stated that the woman was left in a vulnerable condition.
“The only actions she was capable of were consuming coffee, smoking cigarettes, and trembling uncontrollably,” declared the judge.
For a period, she found herself staying at a nearby women’s shelter.
Another attack occurred at his residence.
In December 2020, Deveau violated the terms of an agreement with a law enforcement officer by committing a second assault.
The court heard Deveau invited the second woman to his home, where they smoked a joint, then drove to Cape Forchu. They then returned to his home where, according to the court, they smoked a second joint and then Deveau pulled down his pants and demanded oral sex. The woman did not consent.
The judge observed that Deveau did not seem to express a significant amount of regret. Deveau referred to the initial attack as a “makeout session” that went beyond acceptable limits when speaking to the person responsible for his pre-sentence report.
Muise disagreed. He described the assaults as “highly predatory acts, deliberately committed on victims he knew to be vulnerable.”
The Crown sought a three-year sentence, while Deveau’s lawyer requested house arrest. Muise argued against a conditional sentence order, stating that Deveau’s likelihood of committing another offense is significantly high.
Deveau will not only serve time in prison, but his DNA will also be included in a nationwide database and his name will be listed on the national sex offender registry. Additionally, he is obligated to maintain a distance from his victims.
Deveau’s ability to work as a psychotherapist has been temporarily revoked starting from May 2021.