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Why Women Filed Sexual Assault Complaints Against MNA LeBel

Petitioner told jurors that the arrest of former PQ leader André Boicrea influenced her decision to contact police.

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A woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Harold Lebel when he was an MP testified Wednesday that the arrest of former Quebec Party leader André Boicrea influenced her decision to file a police complaint. did.

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LeBel, 60, is on trial before a Rimouski jury. He was accused of sexually assaulting a young woman who was staying at the condominium in October 2017 and he was her PQ MNA. He was indicted in 2020.

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On the second day of testimony, the claimant stated that he was hesitant to lodge a complaint with the Sûreté du Québec for several reasons. The woman’s name and the details to identify her are subject to standard embargo. Because of the ban, some of the reasons she stated for reluctance to file complaints cannot be reported.

“He had a good reputation,” the woman said as part of the reason she didn’t call the police right away.

“I wanted to proceed as if nothing had happened.”

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She said news in May 2020 that Boisclair had been charged with sexual assault helped persuade her to file a complaint with SQ. She followed news reports of her arrest carefully, noting how her petitioner’s name was banned, which she said would allow Lebel to remain anonymous if indicted. was relieved.

She also noted how the Quebec government provided assistance to victims of sexual assault.

When prosecutor Manon Gaudreau asked the woman to describe how she felt about the Boicclair case, defense attorney Maxim Roy objected to the question, arguing that the two cases had nothing to do with each other. did.

Superior Court Judge Serge Francour concurred with this dissenting opinion, ruling that the woman’s answer could foul the jury.

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Gaudreau asked the woman to repeat her version of what happened on the night of the alleged assault.

After discussing politics, the woman said the conversation got personal. She told her she was depressed that he was separating from her spouse and expressed her concerns about what would happen to PQ in the 2018 election.

At one point during their conversation, Lebel touched her thigh and kissed her on the lips. She told Rubel that she wasn’t interested and headed to the bathroom to take a shower.

Eventually he walked away from the bathroom door and she showered and entered the bed set up in LeBell’s bedroom. He climbed onto the bed and within 10 minutes began touching her buttocks. She said he tried to force her own finger into her anus and slightly tucked one of her fingers. She said the abuse continued for hours while LeBell “didn’t say a word” and she couldn’t sleep all night.

The woman was to be cross-examined by Roy on Wednesday afternoon.

pcherry@postmedia.com

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Why Women Filed Sexual Assault Complaints Against MNA LeBel

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