Pleadings begin Friday in the criminal trial of Gilbert Rozon for rape

Pleadings begin Friday in the criminal trial of Gilbert Rozon for rape

Share November 6, 2020 6:21 a.m. Share Pleadings begin Friday in Gilbert Rozon's criminal trial for rape Stéphanie Marin The Canadian Press MONTREAL – Gilbert Rozon's lawyers will try to convince the court on Friday that he is innocent and has not committed rape , while the pleadings will begin at the Montreal courthouse.

Justice Mélanie Hébert, of the Court of Quebec, will hear the lawyers present the two versions of the facts offered during the trial.

The Crown prosecutor, Me Bruno Ménard, will instead argue why the founder of Just for Laughs should be sentenced on two counts: rape and indecent assault.

He is accused of having committed these crimes 40 years ago, in a house in the Laurentians, when he was 25 years old.

The accused, who is now 65, has denied any misconduct or crime, suggesting that the complainant's version does not hold water.

She testified on the first day of the trial, which began on October 13.

She recounted how a date with the accused went. At the time, the woman – whose identity is protected by a publication ban – was 20 years old.

After spending some time at a nightclub, the accused offered to “necking” her in his car, the woman said, who said she refused. On the way to drive her home, the man stopped at her secretary's house to pick up documents. Inside, the woman said he threw himself on her to kiss her, putting a hand on her cleavage and then attempted to remove her panties. She struggled and pushed him back to stop. Saying that she had no other options to go home, and judging that he had understood her refusal, she spent the night there, alone, in a room. In the early hours, she woke up because Gilbert Rozon was on top of her, determined to have sex. She didn't want to, she testified, insisting that there was no consent.

The accused delivered another version: he maintains that there was no offer of “necking” in his car, and that he invited the young woman to have a nightcap in a house rented by one of his employees, and to which he had access. After stroking and kissing her, he says he put his hand under her skirt, but stopped everything when she stiffened and said “no”. Annoyed, he went to bed and woke up to see the complainant astride him, “making love” on him.

The trial lasted just over two days. Only three people testified: the complainant, the accused and a co-worker of the complainant at the time this all took place.

Like all the accused, Gilbert Rozon is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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