Sunday, September 02, 2007

RCMP inspector fires off lawsuit against therapist

Elisabeth Johns / Standard-Freeholder

An RCMP inspector has filed a libel lawsuit against a couples' therapist who sent a letter to his bosses claiming he is a "dangerous man" and a "narcissistic psychopath."

Insp. Jean-Yves Lemoine, who is facing allegations he manipulated a junior officer's wife into having an affair with him at disciplinary hearing, launched the lawsuit Monday, his civil lawyer said.

The letter, said Mark Bantey, "made its way through various levels of the RCMP" and had a "devastating effect to Mr. Lemoine's career, life and reputation."

The lawsuit, filed against psychologist Francesca Sicuro, on Monday in Montreal, called for $300,000 in damages.

Sicuro could not be reached yesterday.

In her letter, Sicuro stated she had been counselling a junior officer and his wife -whose names are protected by a publication ban - after the woman and Lemoine had an affair. The psychologist penned the letter in March 2006.

She goes on to say she believes the junior officer is depressed and can't sleep or concentrate after he found out his boss was sleeping with his wife.

His wife, Sicuro continues in the letter, is very depressed, has suicidal tendencies, self-esteem problems and gets mad at her husband very easily. The marriage, Sicuro asserts, is on shaky grounds and the couple is very motivated to make it work.

However, she claims Lemoine is a "dangerous man."

Bantey, in his reply to Sicuro, says she also falsely accuses Lemoine of sexually touching the couples' 14-year-old daughter.

"He is not being investigated for that by anyone," Bantey asserted. Such an allegation has never come up during the tribunal hearing, however, the letter did come up and was considered by Lemoine's defence lawyers to be highly unprofessional.

Bantey appears to agree with that, stating in his reply to the psychologist she never once contacted Lemoine before making her accusations, which he believes were based on false statements from her clients.

The disciplinary hearing Lemoine is facing has been going on since January. The wife of the junior officer is accusing him of pretending to be a psychic to manipulate her to sleep with him.

However, under defence questioning, she admitted she loved Lemoine. Lemoine has since taken the stand and asserted the affair was simply an affair and there was nothing underhanded about it. He testified she initiated the affair.

Lemoine has been an officer with the force since 1988 and an inspector since 2001. The disciplinary hearing Lemoine faces is expected to continue Sept. 17.