Sexual assault: Harold Lebel is found guilty

Sexual assault: Harold Lebel is found guilty

Former Rimouski MP Harold Lebel.

The former Parti Québécois (PQ) MP for Rimouski, Harold Lebel, was found guilty of sexual assault. The jury decided Wednesday afternoon and the verdict fell at 3:30 p.m.

On Monday, judge Serge Francoeur had ordered the confinement of the jury until the final decision. The jury was made up of fourteen members, but only 12 of them were called upon to deliberate.

Reminder of the facts

Mr. Lebel had been arrested by the Sureté du Québec (SQ) in December 2020 in Rimouski for sexual assault. He had been forced to leave the PQ caucus at the time of his arrest, until the light was shed on the case.

The identity of the alleged victim is protected by a publication ban. She had reminded the court that the ex-MP had tried to kiss her, undid her bra and then spent the night touching her. Mr. Lebel, who claimed his innocence and pleaded not guilty in court since January 11, 2021, maintains that it was a consensual kiss.

According to several media, the facts alleged to him were tabled by another elected member of the National Assembly. The facts date back to 2017.

Note that the arrest of the elected official occurred at the same time when  experts were preparing the presentation of 190 recommendations on sexual violence to the National Assembly.

More details to come …

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