A Winnipeg man has been found guilty of sexually abusing three children from the same Manitoba Housing complex.
A provincial court judge has convicted Michel Bruno of six sex-related charges involving two boys and a girl.
The offences occurred between 2013 and 2017 when the children were between the ages of eight and 11.
The trial for the 27-year-old accused was told Bruno befriended the victims’ mothers to gain access to their children.
Bruno was also found guilty of obstruction of justice and several counts of breaching court orders.
Sentencing will take place at a later date.
The court heard Bruno moved in with the boys’ mothers and was considered a father figure. He repeatedly abused the children while showering together or sleeping in the same bed.
The trial was told the girl was sexually violated on two occasions – once during a visit to a library, and a second time when he kissed her in a schoolyard. Contact ceased when the girl’s mother, suspecting Bruno was a predator, warned him to stay away from her daughter.
Bruno was arrested in the fall of 2016 after all three children reported the abuse.
Released on bail, he was ordered to have no contact with the victims and stay away from the housing complex. But within weeks, Bruno, disguised as a woman, returned to the complex and convinced the boys’ mothers that he had been wrongly accused.
The two boys were convinced to recant their police statements at the same time Bruno continued abusing them.
Bruno testified that the sexual contact was “accidental” and said one of the boys performed sex acts on him while he slept.
Provincial court Judge Kusham Sharma said his testimony was “inconsistent, self-serving and illogical.”
“His evidence is completely unreliable and unworthy of belief,” Sharma said in his ruling.
At a separate court hearing in June, Bruno was identified as the writer of an eight-page “confession” claiming responsibility for the sexual abuse of a young southern Manitoba girl – the crime for which another man, Remi Dallaire, had been convicted.
Dallaire and Bruno had both been in custody at Headingley Correctional Centre at the same time. Bruno later recanted, saying Dallaire had promised to pay him in return for claiming responsibility for Dallaire’s crimes.
Dallaire’s lawyer tried to use the confession to reopen the case but a judge quashed the move and sentenced Dallaire to eight years in prison.
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