A Canadian man convicted of raping his own two daughters and impregnating one of them says he himself was a product of incest.
Jacques Lesage, 79, has been found guilty of sexually abusing his daughters, 53-year-old Lucie and 49-year-old Nathalie, the Daily Mail reported. The abuse is said to have occurred over a 32-year period and began when Lucie was just 8 years old.
A third daughter, named Chantal Knippenberg, also says she was raped by Lesage, but he was found not guilty of assaulting her.
Lesage told the court he was a product of incest himself, saying that his mother was also his sister. He said he was abused by his own father, and then later abused by his caretakers at a Catholic orphanage, CBC News reported.
Lesage had three children with his daughter Lucie. The eldest child is severely disabled and requires around-the-clock care. Lucie had their first child at the age of 13.
Lesage told the court he had his genitals removed to stop the spread of cancer, hoping that would earn him a more lenient sentence. He admitted to raping Lucie, but claimed he was not sure he was the girl’s biological father at the time.
Lucie told the court that her father was “going to hell.” She said his abuse has left her unable to have romantic relationships.
“All I’ve known is sexual abuse,” Lesage’s other daughter, Nathalie, told the court.
Nathalie said she kept the abuse a secret for some time because she thought her father’s friends at the police department would not believe her. She moved out of the house when she was 16 and had threatened to shoot Lesage if he ever touched her again.
Lucie and Nathalie said they both suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Knippenberg said that she loved her father, but added that she lived in fear of him her whole life, and said what he did was “wrong.”
Prosecutors are seeking to have Lesage sentenced to 22 years in prison, though his lawyers said he should be sentenced to just seven years after already serving two years behind bars awaiting trial.
Lesage is also facing two other charges in relation to the abuse of another unnamed minor. He will be sentenced on Jan. 27.
Sources: Daily Mail, CBC News / Photo credit: CBC News