Canadian parliamentarians have condemned a parole board decision that allowed a man with a history of violence against women to be released on day parole.
Eustachio Gallese, 51, allegedly killed Marylène Lévesque in a hotel in the Quebec town of Sainte-Foy.
His parole conditions allowed him to see women to meet his “sexual needs”.
Gallese has been charged with second-degree murder over Lévesque’s death after turning himself into police.
The tragedy sparked widespread indignation about whether Gallese’s “sexual needs” were given priority over the safety of women in the community.
Lévesque, 22, was reportedly a sex worker. The parole decision raised questions over whether it put the lives of women involved in sex work specifically at risk.
On Wednesday, members of Parliament in the House of Commons unanimously approved by 315 votes to zero a Conservative motion to censure the parole board decision, which it said “led to a young woman’s death by an inmate during day parole in January of this year”.
The motion also authorised the House of Commons public safety committee to conduct hearings into the matter. The federal public safety minister had already announced the decision will be subject to a joint investigation by Correctional Service Canada and the Parole Board of Canada.
Gallese was granted day parole in March after being sentenced to life for the 2004 murder of his partner, Chantale Deschenes, who he attacked with a hammer before repeatedly stabbing her. He had previously been in trouble with the law for assault and threats directed at a previous partner.
In a written September decision, the parole board denied Gallese full parole but allowed him to continue living in a halfway house on day parole, deeming him a “moderate risk”.
The board said in the decision they were concerned about the “inappropriate” sexual relations with women he was allowed as part of a “risk management strategy”, saying it was itself a “serious and worrisome risk factor” that would need to be reconsidered.
The parole board has denied it tacitly allowed the murder suspect to see sex workers, saying in a statement it “did not authorise any community supervision strategy giving this offender permission to solicit sexual services while on parole”.
It imposed a special condition on Gallese to report all intimate and non-intimate relationships with women, the statement added.