Romeo Cormier convicted on all charges in abduction trial
Kevin Bissett , The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 6, 2011 3:14PM ADT
MONCTON, N.B. - Romeo Cormier was convicted Wednesday of abducting a New Brunswick woman last year and keeping her prisoner for almost a month in his home where he sexually assaulted her.
Cormier pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and uttering death threats.
A jury convicted him of all six charges shortly after they began a second day of deliberations.
The 55-year-old woman -- whose identity is protected by a publication ban -- sat in the courtroom when the verdict was delivered, with her husband's arm around her.
Following the jury's decision, Cormier smiled, looked towards the woman and gave her a thumbs-up before he was led out of the packed courtroom.
"He's just a man with no remorse," the woman said outside court.
"He thinks the world owes him something, and he thinks he can do what he wants and everybody has to cater to him. He thinks he's a somebody. He's just a mean person."
She said she felt a sense of relief once she heard the jury's verdict.
"I can move on with my life," she said. "Hopefully things can get back to normal from here on in."
Sentencing has been set for Aug. 18.
Cormier was arrested on March 24, 2010, after a woman -- who had been the subject of a missing person investigation -- said she was abducted by him at knifepoint outside the Moncton mall where she worked.
She said she was held against her will in his one-room basement apartment for 26 days.
Cormier, 63, testified in his defence, saying the woman was an acquaintance who wanted to be with him and plotted with him to kill her husband.
The Crown recalled the woman to the witness stand, where she rejected Cormier's testimony.
During the trial, the woman testified she was sexually assaulted during her time with Cormier.
She sobbed at times during her testimony, saying she didn't think she could survive the ordeal.
But she said news reports of her family's search for her and her daughter's pregnancy lifted her spirits to the point where she decided she would do whatever she had to in order to stay alive.
She said Cormier left her alone three times but each time gagged her.
She said she was able to free herself on March 24, 2010, while Cormier was out at a food bank.
A neighbour and a courier truck driver testified that the woman appeared scared when they saw her run into the street wearing just a T-shirt, underwear and socks that morning.
Cormier gave the court a very different account.
He testified last week that he first met the woman in 1993 in Newfoundland while he was a courier, contradicting her testimony.
He said they later bumped into each other on a number of occasions in Moncton between 2006 and January 2010, describing her as an "acquaintance" of his.
He told the Court of Queen's Bench that she enlisted him in a plan to kill her husband on Feb. 26, 2010. He said they went to her home that night and were looking in the bedroom window when the woman somehow cut her hand and a car pulled into the driveway.
Cormier said they decided to call off the plan and return to his apartment, where they engaged in consensual sex games.