DNA evidence leads to 25-year term

Conviction in New York of a man previously found guilty of a sexual assault in Abbotsford and wanted for crimes in Vernon.

  • Aug. 10, 2012 1:00 p.m.

vikki hopes

Black Press

DNA evidence has led to the conviction in New York of a man previously found guilty of a sexual assault in Abbotsford and wanted for crimes in Vernon.

Greg Simon Poirier, 39, was sentenced on Monday (Aug. 6) to 25 years in prison, followed by 20 years “post-release supervision,” after a jury found him guilty of sexually motivated burglary in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.

According to a press release from the New York County district attorney’s office, the charges relate to an incident on April 18, 2008 in which Poirier followed a young woman to her apartment, pushed her into the suite, locked the door and sexually assaulted her.

The victim bit Poirier’s wrist during the attack and drew blood, which was later collected by investigators at the scene and entered into the New York State DNA databank.

The sample at first did not match any existing DNA profiles. The case remained unsolved until Poirier’s DNA profile was entered into the databank after his 2009 conviction for sexually motivated burglary in a separate case.

Poirier was arrested that year in New York after five women were groped during a two- to three-hour period.

At the time, he had warrants for his arrest in Canada, including in Vernon, where he was the prime suspect in a November 2007 break-and-enter and charged with seven offences.

In that case, a woman awakened to find a man standing in her bedroom. She barricaded herself in a bathroom and called police, telling them the culprit had fled in a Suzuki Swift.

The car was stopped by police, but the driver led officers on a high-speed chase, which was called off when it reached a dangerous level. The Suzuki was found abandoned, and the driver  – believed to be Poirier – was not located.

Before any of those incidents, Poirier was found guilty of groping a woman in Abbotsford as she was putting groceries into her car after shopping in September 2005. He received a 30-day jail sentence.

The woman testified that Poirier had grabbed her buttocks as he brushed past her, according to court records. She was shaken by the incident, and drove home to her apartment building.

The woman then saw Poirier in her underground parking lot and, when she asked him what he was doing there, he said his grandfather lived in the building.

She suggested they walk to the front door, and he again grabbed her buttocks. The victim confronted Poirier, who ran from the scene, and she then phoned police.

The woman identified Poirier in a photo lineup, and the Abbotsford provincial court trial judge found him guilty, saying that “the sexual integrity of the victim (had been) violated.”

– with files from The Morning Star