CORNWALL – The following is a brief synopsis of cases Cornwall Newswatch has been following but due to limited resources and an overwhelming amount of news during the pandemic, we were not able to publish these in a timely manner. However, we are publishing the outcome of these cases as part of our commitment to follow through on criminal cases.
- Rajat Bharti, 25, of Cornwall was sentenced Nov. 30, 2021 in a case of sexual assault on a woman in June 2019. Judge Deborah Kinsella gave Bharti a conditional discharge with three years probation after he was convicted of sexual assault and failing to comply with bail conditions. He had to pay a $200 victim fine surcharge within 90 days of his sentence and was prohibited from owning weapons for five years. He also had to submit a sample of his DNA. He has a no-contact order with the victim.
- Brandon Aubin, 30, of Cornwall was sentenced Oct. 21, 2021 to two years in prison for his part in a fire and explosion in the basement of a home at 620 First Street East in early April 2017. Aubin had been extracting cannabis resin from marijuana – a process to make “shatter” – when the butane fumes ignited causing the blast. He was found guilty by Judge Rick Leroy on four of the seven charges he faced , not guilty of mischief to cause damage and the seventh charge of possession of a prohibited weapon was withdrawn. Aubin also has a 10 year weapons ban and had to submit a DNA sample to the court.
- Spencer Blanchette, 20, of Cornwall, who broke into the former Gladstone Public School in March 2020, was given a six month conditional sentence of house arrest and curfew on Oct. 15, 2021 on all the charges he was facing except for arson. Judge Gilles Renaud decided to split his decision, setting aside the arson charge, in order to give Blanchette a “proving ground” before making a decision on a penalty for the most serious charge. “I feel bad for what I did,” Blanchette told the court.
- Chelsea Heath, 23, of Greenfield Park, Que. was given the maximum monetary penalty during sentencing on Oct. 14, 2021 after she was found guilty of careless driving causing death under the Highway Traffic Act. Heath aggressively pulled her SUV out from behind a tractor-trailer on Highway 138 in February 2020 in order to pass and hit Cornwall school teacher Adriana Chretien-Lewis head-on, killing her. Instead of a fine paid to the Ontario government, Judge Gilles Renaud ordered that the money be directed to a trust account that could be used by the victim’s family for counselling costs. If it wasn’t used, it was to be directed to a charity. The court proceedings were very emotional as relatives and family members of the Chretien-Lewis read victim impact statements. Heath’s driver’s licence was suspended for four years and she is on probation for two years. She also had to perform 100 hours of community service.