Canadian Soldier Gets Five Years in Jail for ‘Gay Panic’ Murder

A Canadian soldier has been sentenced to five years in jail for the murder of a man he claimed made a sexual advance on him, the Winnipeg Free Press reports:

LacquetteDuane Lacquette (pictured, above), known as Jon-Jon to his many friends and large Métis family, was found Jan. 16, 2010 lying naked in his basement following a night of drinking. Lacquette was the victim of a UFC-style choke-hold that strangled him.

Jason John Ouimet (pictured, below), a former amateur boxer and now a gunner at CFB Shilo, was charged with murder but pled guilty to manslaughter in late April. Ouimet claimed he passed out in Lacquette's basement and awoke to find a naked Lacquette performing oral sex on him. Crown Attorney Jim Ross said Ouimet was so infuriated by the unwanted sexual touching that he killed Lacquette when he could have used his superior size and fighting skills to simply subdue him instead.

Family and friends have said all along they do not believe Lacquette would have sexually assaulted anyone or would have put himself at risk of violence.

OuimetLGBT publication Xtra adds:

Alyssa Desrochers, who was a friend of Lacquette's, doubts the killer's claims. "I think Jason was down for [sex]," she speculates, "then when he wasn't drunk anymore he killed Duane in the heat of the moment."

On the night of the killing, the two men met in a Brandon bar. Eventually, they went to Lacquette's house with three young women. Ouimet expressed an interest in one of the women but passed out. The three women left and, when Ouimet came to, he claims that Lacquette was trying to have sex with him.

Ouimet, a muscular boxing champion, put the 5-foot-7, 165-pound Lacquette into a UFC-style chokehold, strangled him and stomped on his neck. He left the house without calling police and was arrested for the killing three weeks later.

The soldier has been out on bail ever since and continues to serve in the Canadian military. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on a joint recommendation from his lawyers and the Crown lawyer prosecuting the case.

Comments

  1. says

    Rick – Destined to Die in His Closet.
    Canada – full and total equality under law.

    the gay-panic thing has always been the most asinine thing in the world.

    i nominate gay-panic panic. you know, we gays kill a straight person because we panicked thinking that they might get gay-panic and kill us first so, truly, it’s pre-emptive self-defense.

    and i don’t understand how this can be manslaughter. you kill a person. with intent. it aint no accident.

    amazing how “cowardly” these so-called tough guys are when confronted with a “gay”, eh?

  2. Giovanni says

    In my humble opinion there is a lot more to this story. I have a hunch this was a sexual “scene” gone awry. In a twisted sense of rationale Ouimet pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

  3. Bob R says

    Wow, continues to serve in the Canadian military. Five years for “manslaughter”? It certainly looks like America’s corrosive influence has finally fouled Canada. It seems the more I read and hear the more I tend to believe that Canada is devolving. Sad.

  4. Rick says

    “Canada – full and total equality under law”

    You hear that, victim of the family? In Canada, gay people have full and total equality under law…..and don’t let anybody tell you that those laws amount to nothing other than ink on paper, when push comes to shove.

  5. says

    Rick, convincing yourself that the US is ahead of Canada in terms of LGBT Equality, law, policy and social culture is a losing battle.

    Check out the “gay panic” success defenses in your own country first.

    you’re such a coward.

  6. screech says

    According to the London Free Press, a Canadian paper, the five year sentence was jointly recommended by the crown and the defense. Ross, the crown attorney, said that the circumstances (sexual assault) played a role in the sentence. “Ross said Ouiment’s version of events was supported by forensic evidence and Lacquette’s personal history.” Remember, we are not privy to the forensic evidence.

    So yes, I would say that gay people are treated equally under the law in Canada. The only thing I question is if a soldier received special treatment from the Crown – which I personally feel is unlikely in this case. And if sexual assault was committed, then a lower sentence seems reasonable.

  7. Bill says

    Heterosexuals in court case after court case have proven they are ok with dead gay people. Just say you were sexually assaulted or looked at funny and we, heterosexuals, will believe you with no evidence because those damn dirty homosexuals are out there to corrupt you. And it’s total bs. They know these guys weren’t looked at funny or sexually assaulted but they will use that excuse to get these guys out of serious punishment because they don’t see heterosexual lives worth punishing for killing gay lives. They know these heterosexuals killed because they wanted to, it was fun, they wanted to feel want it was like to kill someone right in front of them, they wanted to put “gay people in their place” and who better to chose than a person from a long reviled group.

  8. screech says

    @ Bill I didn’t get that vibe. First, from the paper I read there was forensic evidence taken into consideration. Second, he did receive five years punishment. Third, he confessed to a friend two days later that he had killed Lacquette. That is an expression of remorse. I would assume that cold blooded killers don’t generally confess their crimes. Here is that Free Press article: http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2012/06/07/19850546.html

    So I think Ouimet did the wrong thing. I also think he should go to jail. If there was evidence of an assault, then I think it should matter at the sentencing. But I don’t think we are entitled to say things like “Oh, he wanted to know what it was like to kill a gay person! He loved it!” That’s rash.

  9. Lymis says

    So, if a straight soldier passes out and wakes up to find a woman he went home with performing an unwanted sex act on him, he’s justified in choking her to death, stomping her on the neck, and then failing to call the cops?

    If a straight female soldier who is bodybuilder or boxer goes home with a much smaller and weaker straight man and passes out and wakes up to find him servicing her orally against her will, she is justified in killing him rather than just picking him up and hurling him across the room?

    Five year sentence in either case? Really? This is equal treatment under the law?

  10. screech says

    Well, I don’t think the orientation of those assaulted matters. It is the assault itself that matters. So take one case in which there is no sexual assault. In the middle of the night, one person gets up and chokes another to death. Perhaps he was just upset that there were no women around. In another hypothetical case, someone awakes and finds that they have been sexually assaulted. They freak out and kill the other person. So, should sexual assault be taken into consideration? Yes, I think so. Just like battered wife syndrome is taken into account during the sentencing.

    I do respect opposing opinions on this question. But yes, I do see a difference.

  11. Swiminbuff says

    The sentence was in line with the usual sentencing guidelines for manslaughter in this country so he received no special treatment and did not get off easy because he killed a gay person.

  12. canada says

    First off, I am a lawyer, so take what I say with a grain of salt LOL

    In Canada, the onus is on the crown to prove the crime and when it comes to sentencing, the judge is pre-prescribed to give a sentence within the standards of the criminal code as well as looking at what the crown and defence are asking.

    In this case, the fact that there was agreement between the two parties is important. As well as the fact that there was forensic evidence. We are not privy to what that evidence entailed so we can not say for sure that the Defendant was not assaulted or the like.

    So five years while seeming a little low is within the standards. What We dont know is whether he will hae to serve the complete five years!

    I do not agree with the gay panic defence, but one does have to look at the “mens ra” of why he did it. In other words, what was going through his mind at the time of the event. If he did the act but was so angry at the time, it could be said that he did not have the complete mens ra to do the act and could be seen as a defence. In other words, he did not know or understand completely what he was doing.

    i also do not agree that the sentence was low due to the fact the deceased was gay. Canada does have a pretty strigent hate crime law which if the crown showed that the death was solely due to the sexual orientation of the deceased , it could have infact increased the sentence. So there is a lot more here than we think.

  13. Ricco says

    If given a choice between Canada and the United States for preferred places of residence, I would choose Canada . . . which is not saying a whole lot.

    It’s only like choosing the very-very slightly lesser than two evils.

  14. Swiminbuff says

    This is a voluntary manslaughter, a deliberate killing that has a reduced punishment because of the circumstances in which it occurred,” Ross said.

    Crown Prosecutor Ross said Ouiment’s version of events was supported by forensic evidence and Lacquette’s personal history.

    “The idea that Duane Lacquette would engage in sexually assaulting someone is intensely painful for the family,” Ross said. “Nonetheless, that is where all the evidence leads us.”

  15. NullNaught says

    @Screech
    I am fascinated by your analysis.
    I find the term “sexual assault” to be very misleading in this case. I wonder if the word “assault” is used more freely, or is more emotional than is warranted. I don’t see performing oral sex on someone who is asleep as anything like capturing a person and beating them into submission, etc. Doesn’t the actual violence need to be taken into account?
    Jeff Conaway supposedly had this experience with John Travolta and their friendship ended. That seems appropriate.
    Let me say, waking up and finding someone performing oral sex on oneself may be disturbing mentally, but not of any harm phyisically. Do you see what I mean? It is not a violent attack, it just doesn’t take into account the will of the sleeping individual.
    Should a person get a reduced sentence because they killed another person essentially out of revulsion, rather than self-defense?

  16. ratbastard says

    5 years for manslaughter is typical and common in the U.S. also. I’d also judge him to be guilty of manslaughter [i.e. non per-meditated, an accident].

    Moral of this story:

    Think twice about heavy drinking sessions then wrestling with a ‘straight’ guy.

  17. ratbastard says

    5 years for manslaughter is typical and common in the U.S. also. I’d also judge him to be guilty of manslaughter [i.e. non per-meditated, an accident].

    Moral of this story:

    Think twice about heavy drinking sessions then wrestling with a ‘straight’ guy.

  18. Bill says

    Screech is going to fill this thread with his ignorance. It happens everytime a case like this is posted. There is someone who will posts continously to tell us who have heard countless cases like this that this is a unique case, that there really was justification for the murder, that a sexual assault did occur. Murders like this happen frequently. There is no genetic evidence. The whole case revolves around all parties believing a sexual assault occured and that the heterosexual killer was innocent and the gay person was preying on the killer. It’s about turning the victim into a villian. Matthew Shephard was 5’4″ and around 120 pounds. Those defendants who walked into a gay bar to pick out a gay person to kill said he wanted to sexually assault them. Duane was killed in his own basement. Heterosexual killers enter gay spaces and then when they are caught say they were sexually assaulted or looked at funny. The heterosexual killer did NOT feel remorse for killing Duane, he was bragging. It’s rare for heterosexual killers to try to cover up their murders because gay people are a reviled group and they think they can get away with it even though the evidence in there. Last year, a man was acquitted for killing a gay man in NYC even though they had clear video of him entering and leaving the apartment when the murder occured along with other evidence. The heterosexual killer claimed the gay guy tried to sexually assault him.

  19. screech says

    Well, take the case of battered wife syndrome. There was a famous Canadian case in which a woman was threatened by her husband as he was leaving the room. She shot and killed him. Now in court, the prosecution argued that she didn’t act in self defense because she shot her husband as he was leaving the room, so there was no immediate harm. But the court also found that in the past his threats had been carried out so that she had every reason to believe that he would injure her later. So here, there was no harm but she was threatened. There was no “actual violence” to address.

    Unwanted sexual contact is sexual assault. No, it might not have physically hurt him. But people’s bodies ought to be protected. You can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do. Most people, I think, would recognize this as sexual assault.

  20. NullNaught says

    @Bill
    What do you mean “there is no genetic evidence?” Do you have an “in” that we don’t which makes you privy to the forensic evidence? We know there was forensic evidence, but not what that was. Why do you conclude there is “there is no genetic evidence?” Pardon me for saying so, but it appears you are making a claim that you can’t know is true. It looks like Screech sited an article in the “Free Press.” Looking at your argument from the outside, it appears to me you are the one speaking out of ignorance.

  21. screech says

    @ Bill I don’t think he was innocent! I think he should go to jail! He plead guilty! And take a cue from the lawyer that posted in the thread – it does mean something that the defense and Crown came to an agreement. Did you even bother to read the article? And I have not seen the evidence. All I’m saying is that IF an assault was committed, THEN I think it should matter at the sentencing. I don’t want to IMAGINE what was in the DEFENDANT’S mind – his thoughts. It’s just conjecture.

  22. NullNaught says

    @Screech
    I have a real problem with calling unwanted contact an assault. It is misleading to use the same word where damage or pain is inflicted as when it is not. When people hear the word assault they think of violence which includes damage/pain infliction. It is not the same thing, to me. It is use of emotional language. Unwanted sexual contact should be called unwanted sexual contact. That way no violence is implied where there is none. Unwanted sexual contact devoid of pain/damage should be treated as an anoyance and no more. Or, if not, why not?
    In another way of looking at it, Jeff Conaways reaction to what is claimed to be an analagous situation is of an entirely different magnatude than a physical altercation. What mitigates a reaction beyond a loss of freindship? Do you see what I mean?

  23. screech says

    “Unwanted sexual contact devoid of pain/damage should be treated as an annoyance and no more. Or, if not, why not?”

    Because of bodily integrity. No one has the right to touch your body, directly or indirectly, without your consent. No one has the right to apply force to you without your consent. Theoretically, we give the executive branch this special privilege (to detain, to use force) but not other citizens. So violence can be committed against you without there being any pain. An assault is just violating bodily integrity. What makes it sexual is the part of the body (penis, anus, vagina, mouth, testicles, etc.) that is violated.

    This is found in sec. 265 of the Criminal Code. A person commits an “assault” when:
    a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

  24. screech says

    @Bill http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2012/06/07/19850546.html

    “Ross said Ouiment’s version of events was supported by forensic evidence and Lacquette’s personal history. […] ‘The idea that Duane Lacquette would engage in sexually assaulting someone is intensely painful for the family,’ Ross said. ‘Nonetheless, that is where all the evidence leads us.'”

    So, forensic evidence of a sexual assault. That’s what I took from it.

  25. Rick says

    The comments in this thread, other than Bill’s, are absolutely pathetic. I cannot believe that I find myself in the opposite role in this instance than I usually do, but here goes:

    No, Ratbastard, murdering someone without pre-meditation does not constitute manslaughter–it constitutes second-degree murder. Manslaughter normally means that there was no actual intention of killing the victim, when in this instance, there was very definitely intent.

    Sexual assault? Are you kidding me? This was a slight, little 5-7 guy and the guy being “assaulted”, as the article points out, was much larger and a championship boxer….who had VOLUNTARILY gone to the house of the victim with him. At the VERY LEAST, the victim had plenty of reason to believe that the aggressor was interested in sex with him.

    Lacquette had a “previous history”? Of what? “Assaulting” straight guys who were twice his size? I am sure if he had a criminal record, we would have been made aware of it. And what was the source of this “history”?

    How anybody can see this as anything other than the whitewashing that it is is beyond me. I am sure the 5-year sentence was accepted only because the alternative was to see a straight guy get away with no penalty at all for killing a gay guy, with the predictable defense.

    Just imagine that this were a gay guy and he went home with a woman one night and passed out, only to wake up and find her performing oral sex on him….and he then strangled her to death because he felt he was being “assaulted”…..Do any of you in all seriousness believe that he would have gotten off with a manslaughter plea deal? No, of course not….he would almost certainly have gotten life in prison.

    I can think of nothing more pathetic than for those of you who have so much political capital invested in the idea that because Canada has laws that pretend to make gay people equal……to try and justify the cold-blooded murder of a young, defenseless gay man as a means of furthering your agenda.

    Makes me sick to my stomach.

  26. NullNaught says

    @Screech
    I will take the second part first.
    I am contesting the rationality of the criminal code. I recognize ureservedly that what you are saying is true to my very limited understanding of the law. I have a problem that the word “Assualt” has such a loose definition.
    But I have been told that a shoulder-tap from a strange from behind is not an assault. It would seem to me that loosely that fits the definition. If they are a stranger and invisible before the act, there is no way verbal or non-verbal consent can be offered. I have been told this is definitely not an assault. The same shoulder-tap from behind by a person with who you have traded insults in the past is an assault. Is what I have been told wrong? This seems absurd to me. I have actually had that done to me by somebody who thought nothing of it and was quite surprised to learn that they had in fact commited an assault. I don’t believe the same word should be used to cover that instance and to cover a beating with intent to harm. I think there should be a more nuanced “unwanted physical contact.” category which acknowledges no pain/damage. My argument is the law is not supple enough as writen.
    “Bodily integrity”
    I have boundary issues. I don’t want anyone touching me withou my consent. I recognize that people have all sorts of emotional things going on. I can forgive a lot of violation as niggling. I draw a line at pain/damage. Why shouldn’t the law?

  27. screech says

    Whatever. I said I respected differences of opinion; I see how people can genuinely see this story from different angles. I already said he was guilty and deserves to go to jail.

    “Ouiment knew Lacquette was gay and had turned down a sexual proposition earlier in the evening.” and then after the girls went home, it sounds like the victim made a play for the killer. Given how assault is defined in the criminal code, the courts seem to think that there was evidence an assault took place. And just because a drunk guy is at your house doesn’t mean you can touch him – I don’t know where you’re going with that.

  28. screech says

    @nullnaught So, I have a few nieces. If a creepy perv rubs himself against them and there is no pain, then, I should look the other way? Or is this case really about CONSENT and not about FORCE?

  29. Den says

    In cases liek this can we ever be certain of the actual events that occured when only one of the 2 involved is around to tell the story. How do we know for certain that the killer was asleep when sexual contact took place. It could well be the case that consenting sex took place and during the act the recipient felt guilty or ashamed and reacted angrily and then claimed to have been asleep. There is always an unfair imbalance in these cases because the dead man cannot speak.

  30. NullNaught says

    @Screech
    Great point. I would like to take this up later, as I have a prior engagement to which I must attend and I don’t want to hit and run. I won’t be able to say any more even if I see your response post, so I hope you will forgive me if I suggest we take this up elswhere and soon. I am curious to see what I might come up with as a response to that last one; I am lucky I have an excuse to stop here and think about it. I would rather stop shooting from the hip anyway.

  31. Rick says

    “Ouiment knew Lacquette was gay and had turned down a sexual proposition earlier in the evening.”

    And yet he went home with him, regardless?

    How many “straight” guys have you propositioned who said “no” when they really meant “yes”? How many straight women say “no” to straight men when they really men “yes”?

    If he had really meant “no”, then what the hell was he doing on his living room floor?

    And how many “straight” guys have had sex with another guy-voluntarily-and then gotten angry because they realized what they had done and did anything they could to deny that their action had been voluntary?

    Jeez.

  32. screech says

    In the Xtra article, it said that the killer expressed interest in one of the girls that also went back to the victim’s house. So now “no” means “yes”? Sometimes people play mind-games, I will give you that, Rick. But if a guy says “no” and passes out, you aren’t playing mind games with him if you suck him off while he’s passed out. And I’m keeping in mind (like Den says) that we only have the one guy’s account (though it sounds like the girls left after the killer passed out). But it would explain why he freaked out. And I’m keeping in mind that there is evidence of some sort that I don’t know about.

  33. Canadian Lawyer #2 says

    I am a lawyer in Canada and although I do not presently practice in criminal law, I’ve had some detailed exposure to criminal appellate work. I just want to supplement the comments that have been made earlier by the other Canadian lawyer.

    The fact that there was an agreement between defence counsel and the Crown on sentencing (called a “joint submission”) is not just important, but crucial to why the court accepted a recommended sentence of 5 years. Although the trial judge has ultimate responsibility for imposing a fit sentence, a trial judge can only reject a joint submission if it “is so low as to bring the administration of justice into disrepute or is otherwise not in the public interest”. In practice this is an exceptionally high test to meet. A decision to “jump” a joint submission will almost always be overturned on appeal.

    There are many policy reasons for why the court gives such deference to joint submissions from counsel. The most obvious is fairness to the accused; it would be contrary to the principles of justice if an accused agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in return for a negotiated sentence, only to have that sentence rejected by the court.

    The question then becomes why the Crown in this case agreed to a joint submission of 5 years rather than negotiate a higher sentence. Most likely it was because while the case sounds like a slam dunk in a newspaper, it probably had more than a few holes. As someone mentioned, maybe the forensic evidence was adverse the prosecution.

    OR, maybe the Crown attorney was just an idiot and was too easily swayed during plea negotiations. In any case, unfortunately, the court’s hands were essentially tied by the joint submission of the parties.

    If you would like to read more about joint submissions in Canadian criminal law, Justice Doherty of the Ontario Court of Appeal (arguably the greatest criminal law judge in the country) wrote a decision touching on this topic just two months ago. See R. v. DeSousa, 2012 ONCA 254, at:

    http://canlii.ca/t/fr17k

  34. ratbastard says

    @Rick,

    I said killing someone ACCIDENTALLY [like in a bar fight] is manslaughter. I understand murdering someone without premeditation is generally 2nd degree murder.

    5 years for manslaughter in the U.S. wouldn’t be unusual, although it’s possible to receive a tougher sentence and individual states differ. And there’s voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

    Now that I looked more closely at this case, it looks like the killer did get off too easy, but this is Canada not the U.S.

  35. cwm says

    So the prosecution was so moved by the “gay panic” defense that they officially begged for the murderer to be convicted on a lesser charge and to receive the lightest possible sentence?

    Reminiscent of the “aggressive” prosecution of Dan White. i.e. barely a prosecution at all.

  36. Karel says

    “Let me say, waking up and finding someone performing oral sex on oneself may be disturbing mentally, but not of any harm phyisically.”

    NULLNAUGHT, what if the person performing the oral sex (which you presumably did NOT consent to) has an STD?

  37. Todd says

    I am a little lost on a few very limited points of the referenced story. I think for me I am trying to understand the mystery evidence that an assault had occured. In the very least if it took three weeks for the soldier to confess than I assume he has done everything in his power to remove any evidence of his connection to the murdered. This means unless there is some specific thing he kept from the night of the assault, all evidence would be from the deceased. I will take it at this point strong or at least leading evidence would at the very least a noticeable trama to the deceased’s mouth or throat area with the possibility of trace amounts of semenal fluid. I understand drunk guys can ejaculate while unconscious. However, it says he woke up. Was it at the point of climax? Reason I wonder is if he was really passed out then at what point or what stimulus brought him back into a conscious state where he understood what was happening. If he was really that gone I hypothesize he would not be able to complete the choke hold succesfully as has been written. Lots of small peaces of info still do not match up. Was he really unconscious or at least unaware until some strong stimulus brought him to an alert level? If so was it ejaculation? Then if it was ejaculation, then was the murderer ever really that far from consciousness in the first place? Next…why three weeks? And why did the friend who was told two days after the murder not go to police to report this? I get a feeling this was not either an assault or a manslaughter case. It seems a tremendous amount of things happened in the blink of an eye for what has been written in court journals to have happened. To much for me to agree this was manslaughter and not a level of murder. Parting thoughts…as a champion boxer he knows when to stop before he kills someone, same for being a military soldier…he knows when to stop. After rereading the articles about this and the understanding of different scenarios to explain the evidence I think he’s really guilty of murder but, like was posted above, they could not have gotten a second degree murder and accepted a manslaughter plea so he got some time.

  38. snowisfun says

    If this man’s story is true as reported that the gay was touching him as we was asleep, then the man had a right to use any reasonable force to end the abuse, though deadly force is harder to justify.

    Just because this gay victim is smaller than the man who killed him doesn’t prove the man made it up. If a gay is going to commit indecent exposure, assault and battery or sex abuse, then a man has right to use any reasonable force including deadly force. Drugs are Gay & METHEW Wayne Shepard was a drunkard junky who mixed Meth with antidepressants.

    Back to this case, I think he plead guilty to manslaughter because his lawyer may have advised him that if they try murder case before jury, they’d have hard time using self defense as prosecutor would argue he used excessive force. Drugs are gay and they should make it a crime to do sex change maimings.

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