Montreal-area pastor and wife accused of abusing minors released on bail

Mario Monette and Carole Van Houtte face 32 charges each, including assault and kidnapping

Colin Harris · CBC News 

Mar 01, 2019

A Montreal-area pastor and his wife have been released on bail after being charged with multiple offences against minors.

Mario Monette and Carole Van Houtte, both 65, were arrested yesterday by Longueuil police.

Monette is the pastor of the South Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church in Longueuil’s Saint-Hubert borough.

They face 32 charges each, including assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, threats, forcible confinement and incitement to commit an indictable offence.

The acts are alleged to have occurred between 1974 and 2019 on at least eight minors.

A former member of the church at the Longueuil courthouse Friday described the pastor as a man who wanted to control every facet of his congregants’ lives.

The person, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, said members of the congregation are scared of speaking out against him because he says that God speaks through him.

That ex-church member said that, at its height, the congregation was made up of about 70 people but has since dwindled in numbers.

Monette and Van Houtte were released after paying $500 each and agreeing to several conditions.

They must surrender their passports and not contact the alleged victims and witnesses, must not talk about their case on social media nor serve as pastors. Monette also must turn in his weapons within five days.

“We are assured that with these conditions, the security of the population will be preserved,” said Crown prosecutor Miguel Boisvert.

The couple will be back in court on April 29.

With files from Kate McKenna and Verity Stevenson