LONGUEUIL, Que. — A former Montreal police officer and minor hockey coach is facing charges for alleged sexual infractions dating back decades and involving boys who at the time were aged between nine and 16.
Longueuil police said Wednesday they are seeking other possible alleged victims of Francois (Frank) Lamarre, 71, who has lived in the Montreal suburb of Greenfield Park for nearly 50 years.
He faces charges of gross indecency, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching involving four alleged victims.
The infractions are alleged to have been committed between 1972 and 1997 at Lamarre's home, in his car and at arenas. He was arrested Tuesday at his home and released under numerous conditions ahead of his Dec. 19 arraignment at the Longueuil courthouse.
Investigators believe there could be more victims because he was often in the company of minors during that time. On Wednesday, a municipal councillor representing Greenfield Park, Wade Wilson, released a statement saying he was among Lamarre's victims.
In an interview, Wilson alleged Lamarre abused him "about a dozen times" roughly 45 years ago, when he was 12 years old. Wilson, 57, said he went to police Wednesday morning after learning of Lamarre's arrest.
The councillor was involved in sports at the time and said Lamarre befriended him. Wilson said Lamarre would invite him out for ice cream or dinner "and then when he would have you in the car, he would start wrestling with you and grabbing you, basically."
He said he put the abuse in the back of his mind and only came forward to police after he learned of Lamarre's other accusers. "I'll do what I have to do now," Wilson said. "If I'm called to court and testify, I'll do whatever it takes to put him away."
No charges have been brought in relation to Wilson's allegations, which have not been proven. Lamarre could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Lamarre, who retired from the Montreal police force in 1994, was a hockey coach in Greenfield Park from 1970 to 1980. Sgt. Patrick Barriere of Longueuil police said Lamarre's status as an officer was known to the boys, but none of the infractions are alleged to have occurred while he was on duty.
"Those kids at the time might have moved elsewhere in Canada or the United States," Barriere said. "One of the four victims is living outside the province right now."
Some were youth involved in hockey, while other alleged victims lived in Lamarre's neighbourhood.
Investigators arrived at the period of 1972 of 1997 after meeting with the victims, Barriere said, adding that other offences could have taken place before or after the dates.
Lamarre was between 24 and 49 years of age at the time and lived in homes on Springfield and Campbell Streets in the suburban community. Barriere noted that Lamarre often changed vehicles, and investigators are aware he drove Ford and Cadillac cars at the time.
"We know it takes a lot of courage for people to come forward when you're a victim of that type of crime," Barriere said. "But don't worry, investigators are there to help."
Under the conditions of his release, Lamarre is forbidden from contacting the four complainants and from being in the presence of minors or near parks, schools or community centres.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 4, 2019.
— With files from Giuseppe Valiante