Eric Salvail's criminal trial for sexual assault resumes Monday

Eric Salvail's criminal trial for sexual assault resumes Monday

Share November 8, 2020 12:42 p.m. Share Eric Salvail's criminal trial for sexual assault resumes Monday Stéphanie Marin The Canadian Press MONTREAL – At the criminal trial of producer and host Eric Salvail, the Crown will hear in rebuttal evidence, from Monday, additional witnesses in order to attack his credibility.

This is the follow-up to the trial that began in February in Montreal and lasted four days.

The 51-year-old man is accused of sexual assault, criminal harassment and forcible confinement on the person of Donald Duguay. The charges allegedly took place in 1993, when the two men were young adults. They both worked at Radio-Canada at the time, argued Mr. Duguay, who himself requested to be identified publicly.

Crown Attorney Amélie Rivard asked the judge for special permission to call other witnesses, after declaring her case closed.

She argued that the accused used his “good reputation” during the trial: he notably stated, during his testimony, that he was not the type of person to commit the alleged offenses. These comments now open the door to evidence that can attack this favorable view offered by the accused, argued Me Rivard.

Judge Alexandre Dalmau of the Court of Quebec granted his request and allowed this rebuttal evidence.

The Crown prosecutor will call three or four ex-colleagues of the accused to the stand, who say they too have suffered sexual touching, exhibitionism or comments of a sexual nature repeatedly on the part of Eric Salvail.

The Crown's approach, however, is not intended to establish similar fact evidence, which would consist in showing that this is consistent behavior by the accused, which the rules of law do not allow. Its objective is rather to counter the words of Eric Salvail and to try to undermine his credibility.

These three witnesses cannot be identified due to a court order. None of them intend to lodge a complaint with the police, it was indicated.

Criminal proceedings

Eric Salvail was arrested by the police in January 2019.

Donald Duguay alleges that he was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in October 1993, nearly 27 years ago, in a Radio-Canada bathroom, after several months of advances, harassment, sexual comments and inappropriate touching in the workplace. On another occasion, the accused exhibited his sex to him, Mr. Duguay testified. He filed a complaint against the ex-host in 2017.

Eric Salvail chose to testify at his trial. He has denied outright all the allegations made to him.

Before Judge Dalmau, he even called the episode of sexual assault and forcible confinement recounted by Donald Duguay as “far-fetched”.

He has also argued on several occasions that he was no longer working at Radio-Canada when the acts for which he was accused were allegedly committed in a toilet at the crown corporation.

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