Montreal, CANADA – Authorities are blaming inexperience for a parole board’s decision to grant early release to a convicted killer who later murdered a 22-year-old prostitute.
Eustachio Gallese, 51, had a history of domestic violence and was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife in 2006, CTV News reported.
Gallese was also convicted of sexual assault against a romantic partner in 1997.
Police said he beat his wife, 32-year-old Chantal Deschênes, with a hammer before stabbing her to death with two knives on Oct. 21, 2004.
He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole for 15 years, the Daily Mail reported.
In 2007, the parole board determined that Gallese was at “high risk” of violently re-offending violence.
However, the board lowered his status to “moderate” chance of re-offending in 2016, and dropped it to “low to moderate” in 2019, the Daily Mail reported.
Then in March of 2019, Gallese was granted supervised release on day parole at a halfway house based on his good behavior.
According to parole board records, Gallese discussed with case workers his concerns about having relationships with women, and the case workers encouraged him to go ahead and satisfy his “sexual needs.”
“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,” the parole board’s most recent decision said, according to Vice.
“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 decision continued. “The hearing allowed us to realize you managed, and this with the approval of your case-management team, relations with women that the board considers inappropriate.”
So, with permission from the parole board, Gallese availed himself of the services of prostitutes at a Montreal erotic massage parlor while he was on parole, the Daily Mail reported.
He got banned from the massage parlor after he was violent with some of the women there, but 22-year-old Marylène Lévesque made arrangements to continue to service Gallese outside the business.
Lévesque met Gallese for sex in a Sainte-Foy district hotel room and he stabbed her to death, the Daily Mail reported.
Gallese turned himself in to authorities on Jan. 22 and has been charged with second-degree murder.
Lévesque’s murder has raised questions about why the Canadian parole board would have granted such a permission to seek sexual satisfaction to a killer, the Montreal Gazette reported.
Former parole board members blamed the inexperience of the current parole board.
“If you don’t have experienced board members and just new people, some mistakes can happen, some issues can happen,” ex-parole board member Dave Blackburn told the Montreal Gazette. “And in this file, with Gallese, I see lack of experience.”
Another former parole board member, Jean-Claude Boyer, said anyone with experience would have revoked Gallese’s parole when they learned a case worker had given him permission to visit sex workers, an act which is criminal in and of itself, the Montreal Gazette reported.
Boyer, who served on the parole board until 2018, noted that records showed that board members had called it “worrying and significant risk factor,” but didn’t stop Gallese from visiting prostitutes.
“The board members were made aware of this at the hearing and they said, ’That’s inappropriate,’ and they wrote, ’Risk is getting important,’ and they did not act,” he told the Montreal Gazette. “What they had to do was immediately revoke his freedom to have a hearing within three months to figure out what happened.”