A man who was convicted of murdering his partner by beating her with a hammer before fatally stabbing her with two knives in 2004 was given supervised release and given permission to “satiate his sexual needs.”
Then he stabbed a 22-year-old sex worker to death in a hotel room in January.
Eustachio Gallese, 51, turned himself in on January 22 and confessed to the murder of Marylène Lévesque in a Sainte-Foy district hotel room. He had been banned from visiting an erotic massage parlor where Lévesque worked after he had behaved violently with other women, but Lévesque agreed to meet Gallese at the hotel room.
As The Vancouver Sun reported, Gallese was convicted of conjugal violence in 1997, and in 2004, he murdered his 32-year-old partner, Chantal Deschênes, who had two daughters of her own. In 2006, Gallese was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years, with a judgment in 2007 saying he was at high risk of committing violence against a partner. But that judgment was later reduced to a moderate risk; and later he was allowed to leave the prison if he was supervised.
In March 2019, Gallese was granted supervised release and released to a halfway house. In September, that release was extended for another six months.
Vice reported that Gallese discussed his sexual needs with case workers. The written summary stated:
The hearing allowed us to realize you managed, and this with the approval of your case-management team (the people who prepare an offender for a release), relations with women that the board considers inappropriate. This strategy of managing your risk as it was presented and understood during the hearing paradoxically constitutes a worrying and significant risk factor …
Although you are still single and you say you aren’t ready to enter into a serious relationship with a woman, you are able to efficiently evaluate your needs and expectations towards women. During the hearing, your parole officer underlined a strategy that was developed with the goal that would allow you to meet women in order to meet your sexual needs.
The Conservative MP for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, Pierre Paul-Hus, wanted to know how the parole board could have allowed Gallese, “whom they knew had a problem with women, to obtain sexual services.” asking, “Can the minister tell the family why the board gave that permission to a man known to be violent?”
Quebec Minister of Justice Sonia Lebel has demanded some answers, wanting to know how Gallese got parole in the first place. She later tweeted, “We are satisfied that the federal Minister of Public Security has announced that an investigation will be held and that Quebeckers will get their questions answered.
Nous sommes satisfaits que le ministre fédéral de la Sécurité publique annonce la tenue d’une enquête et que les Québécoises et Québécois obtiendront des réponses à leurs questions. https://t.co/qAE7WFeNHn
— Sonia LeBel (@slebel19) January 27, 2020
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair stated, “In its September 2019 decision, the Parole Board explicitly opposed letting the accused visit massage parlours during his release.”
Sandra Wesley, executive director of the sex worker advocacy group Stella, was furious, saying that authorities “knew that this man, who was considered very dangerous to women, was not ready to have sexual relations with women, that he had a history of extreme violence toward women,” according to the Montreal Gazette.