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Ex-outreach worker sentenced

Aug 14 2012

A B.C. Supreme Court judge said a former AIDS Vancouver Island outreach worker showed an astounding lapse of judgment when he paid to have sex with two vulnerable young women with serious drug problems.

Justice James Williams made the remark at Cameron Delacroix's sentencing hearing this month. On Aug. 2, Delacroix pleaded guilty to obtaining sexual services from two girls under the age of 18 and breaching a no-contact order with the first girl.

The offences took place from May 2009 until Delacroix's arrest in April 2011.

Williams sentenced Delacroix to 16 months in jail followed by two years' probation. Because Delacroix has been in custody for 16 months, the sentence amounts to time served.

"In my view, there is an aggravating irony about this matter, that a man whose employment involved dealing with and assisting the most downtrodden of people, people who can't get their life together, people who are in the throes of drug addiction and abuse ... would choose to engage in these relations with two young woman who are obviously of that ilk," Williams said.

The girls were young enough to be Delacroix's granddaughters, the judge noted.

"It would make one wonder what moral character you have, sir. It is an astounding abuse of another vulnerable person," Williams said.

Delacroix provided harm-reduction supplies and the necessities of life to drug users and prostitutes, said Williams. During that period, he met a 17-year-old on Craigslist and began phoning and emailing her.

"She was a young woman at some difficult straits in her life, a drug addict, living a life somewhat out of control," said Williams.

"She offered to provide sexual services."

Delacroix paid to have sex with her a number of times between May 2009 and February 2010, said Williams.

"I am satisfied he knew she was 17 years of age."

At some point, Delacroix was involved in an altercation with the young woman. Police became involved and he was placed on an undertaking not to contact her, but breached that condition.

The second girl had just turned 17 and was struggling with a serious drug addiction when she met Delacroix. She had a number of encounters with him over a period of six to eight months beginning in March 2010.

"He paid her money in exchange for sex. Usually, he would pay her in advance so she could buy and use drugs before their sexual relations," Williams said.

Delacroix has a criminal record that includes a dated conviction for rape. He served a five-year sentence for that crime, the judge noted.

Before Williams imposed sentence, Delacroix apologized.

Williams accepted that Delacroix was remorseful and sorry for his conduct.

Sgt. Grant Hamilton said that at the time of his arrest, Delacroix had been employed by two downtown social services agencies despite having previous criminal convictions.

Hamilton said the case highlights the lack of background checks for outreach workers.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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