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Pastor gets 9 more months for sex assault

MONTREAL – A self-proclaimed pastor already serving a five-year sentence for molesting a 10-year-old girl he claimed to have married had an additional nine months tacked on to his prison term Monday for sexually exploiting a 16-year-old girl several years earlier.

In both cases Daniel Cormier used his status as a preacher to befriend the girls and their families to gain their trust, before he violated it.

Cormier, 58, was found guilty in December of two counts of sexual exploitation against the 16-year-old girl.

It is an offence for someone in a position of trust or authority to have sexual contact with someone age 16 to 18, even if there is consent. The crimes occurred when the victim was 16 and 17 years old.

The victim, whose identity is protected because she was a minor, said she once gave Cormier a French kiss, and he later initiated sexual touching on two occasions. The two met while she frequented his now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal.

In January 2009, Cormier was sentenced to five years in jail after a judge found him guilty of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl that he says he married in the church he created.

Cormier – who ran for mayor of Montreal in 2001 and operated the Church of Downtown Montreal, which claimed to help the homeless – was found to have preyed on the vulnerability of the girl, whose father wasn’t involved in her life.

Her mother, a former drug addict, met Cormier through the church and testified that he took the struggling family under his wing. He’d take the woman’s two daughters on weekends, and even took them on trips to Niagara Falls, Granby Zoo, Canada’s Wonderland and Disney World.

During the trial, he argued his sexual relations with the girl were legal because he married her in his church.