It was on May 17 that 59-year-old Réal Chayer was first arrested by investigators from the MRC Montcalm station, “under an arrest warrant for sexual assault, sexual contact and incitement to contact.” explained the Sûreté du Québec in a brief press release.
Originally from Saint-Lin–Laurentides, in Lanaudière, Mr. Chayer had appeared before a judge in Joliette. In total, four charges currently weigh against him. The man was finally “released under several conditions”, pending further legal proceedings, the authorities confirmed.
The acts alleged against Chayer allegedly took place in Saint-Lin–Laurentides in 2020 and 2022, while the accused “had access to his victims in a context of a situation of authority linked to his involvement in sport, among others such as coach “.
Not only was Chayer the chief instructor of the Drakshido Martial Arts Academy, located in Repentigny but he was also a referee in the same discipline which led him to travel across Quebec for various competitions.
Two young teenagers had formally filed a complaint against the individual, a police source said. That said, as Réal Chayer was in contact with several young athletes, the police believed that he could have caused several other victims.
The police are also concerned that Mr. Chayer already has a history of a sexual nature dating from the past. The report shows that the 58-year-old man had also been accused of various sexual crimes, including incitement to contact, in 1996 and 2016, respectively in the districts of Saint-Jérôme and Joliette.
Given the seriousness of the case, a “management structure for investigations into serial crimes (GECS)”, coordinated by the Sûreté du Québec, was deployed in this case.
It is a unified command structure “within which Quebec police services work in partnership to quickly identify crimes committed by predators and arrest them,” the authorities recall. “This provincial coordination therefore allows police resources to be pooled and aims to better protect victims,” we add.
Chayer appeared in court again this afternoon to face a host of new charges. No less than 65 charges have been filed against him in total so far, including sexual exploitation of minors, sexual assault and sexual contact with children under 14 years old. This brings the total of alleged victims from 2 to 11.
Chayer allegedly committed his crimes over a period of more than 20 years – between 2001 and 2022 – in several cities, including Repentigny, Laval and Saint-Lin–Laurentides.
“We are talking about new alleged victims who came forward after the [media coverage] of his first arrest. The investigation is still ongoing,” explained Lieutenant Benoit Richard, spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
At least one of the alleged victims was as young as 7 when she was allegedly abused. These are young boys for acts which allegedly occurred in a context linked to sport, we learned. A publication ban protects their identity.
The karate teacher was also in a position of authority over several of them, according to an arrest warrant issued against him.
He is still registered as the sole owner of the Drakshido martial arts school, which is located in Repentigny, according to the Quebec Business Register.
On December 31, four days after an arrest warrant was issued against him, photos were shared on the Drakshido academy’s Facebook page, including one where we see Réal Chayer, all smiles.
However, he was arrested for the first time last May by the Sûreté du Québec. He was then accused in particular of sexual assault on two minor boys.
The accused was able to regain his freedom at that time by agreeing to respect certain conditions. But given his impressive record now, the Crown opposed his release on Monday. He is due back in court tomorrow for further legal proceedings.
Anyone who has relevant information on Réal Chayer or on the crimes he may have committed is invited to contact the Criminal Information Center of the Sûreté du Québec, by calling 1 800 659-4264. You can be assured of confidential treatment of information.