Fairhaven man sentenced to 13+ years for child rape

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A Fairhaven man used “gifts, threats and violence” to help keep a teenage victim silent after he sexually abused her, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, 48-year-old Benoit Leclerc raped and sexually abused a teenager multiple times from August 2011 to March 2013. The victim was 15 years old when the first incident occurred, a spokesperson for the Bristol Country District Attorney’s Office said.

During an investigation into the abuse, prosecutors said Leclerc communicated with the victim, offered her jewelry and said he wanted to marry her so that she would “recant her allegations.”

“The defendant more than deserves the sentences imposed by the court. I hope the victim can now find some peace and move forward with her life,” District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.

Leclerc was convicted on a number of charges, including rape, rape with force, two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, posing a child in a state of nudity, engaging in sex for a fee, intimidation of a witness and attempting to procure perjury.

Leclerc faces up to 13 and a half years in prison and will serve five years probation once he is released. He was sentenced in Fall River Superior Court.