QUEBEC — A man who pleaded guilty on Thursday to killing a sex worker while out on day parole stabbed her 30 times because he was jealous and feared rejection, according to a statement read in court.
Eustachio Gallese, 51, entered the plea to a charge of first-degree murder at the Quebec City courthouse.
He will serve 25 years in prison before he can be considered for parole.
"You have committed the irreparable, no sentence can bring Marylene Levesque back to life," Superior Court Justice Louis Dionne said during a 30-minute hearing.
Gallese had a haggard appearance as he sat in the prisoner's box, sometimes looking at the ground and sometimes at the gallery, where friends and family of the victim were seated. When invited to speak by the judge, he said he had nothing to add to his written statement.
Gallese, who had previously been sentenced to life in prison for another murder, was accused of stabbing the 22-year-old Levesque to death in a Quebec City hotel on Jan. 22.
On Thursday, his lawyer Renald Beaudry said his client felt deep remorse for the killing.
"He's very sorry for what happened," Beaudry said. "He's not feeling sorry for himself."
The victim's stepfather said Levesque's death has had "catastrophic" effects on the family, who have suffered from insomnia, nightmares and have had to take time off from work since their loved one died.
"The Earth stopped turning on January 22," Francois Boulet told the court. "It's difficult to measure the impact of this massacre."
In 2006, Gallese was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 15 years after he killed his 32-year-old partner, Chantale Deschenes, by beating her with a hammer before repeatedly stabbing her.
As part of his day parole, a risk-management strategy was developed to allow Gallese to meet women to respond to his "sexual needs" — a provision that has triggered a full federal probe by the Commissioner of the Correctional Service and the chair of the Parole Board of Canada.
It was through this strategy that Gallese first met Levesque in June 2019 at the erotic massage parlour where she worked. After several meetings he began to develop a "certain attachment" to her, or a "connection," he said in the statement.
But by September, Gallese felt the relationship deteriorating, and he found her "more distant," the court heard.
"He started to feel anguish, anxiety and jealousy," the statement read. He became obsessed with her, even as he was consulting a doctor and was on medication.
Gallese began to hatch a plan to kill Levesque and take his own life following a meeting he had with her on Jan. 11. It was then that he bought the knife he used to commit the crime.
On Jan. 22 he met his victim in the restaurant of a hotel, and they went upstairs after a few drinks. He then took his knife and stabbed her.
Almost three hours after leaving the hotel, he went to a police station at around 11:30 p.m. to confess to his crime. On Feb. 6, he met investigators to give a full statement.
Gallese was initially charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder on Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2020.
Patrice Bergeron, The Canadian Press