Former Quebec media star Eric Salvail, who is accused of sexual assault, harassment and unlawful confinement, took the stand in his own defence on Feb. 19, 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Former Quebec media star Eric Salvail takes stand in his sex assault case

MONTREAL — Former Quebec media star Eric Salvail was no longer employed at Radio-Canada during the time he is alleged to have sexually assaulted a man in a bathroom at the public broadcaster, his trial heard Wednesday.

The former talk show host is charged with sexual assault, harassment and unlawful confinement in connection to events that allegedly occurred between April and October 1993. His former co-worker, Donald Duguay, claims Salvail cornered him in the bathroom, exposed himself and tried to force him into performing a sex act.

Salvail took the stand in his own defence Wednesday. His testimony largely backed up the information provided by a Radio-Canada employee who took the stand before him.

The employee, who can’t be named, told the court that employment records show that Salvail stopped working at the public broadcaster on Aug. 13, 1993. Duguay said the assault took place on Oct. 29 of that year.

Crown prosecutor Amelie Rivard said access to the offices of the public broadcaster isn’t restricted to employees.

Other records showed that Salvail worked in the mail room between August and October 1991, and then between Jan. 5 and Feb. 15, 1993.

According to Duguay, however, the alleged sexual harassment began in April 1993 when the two supposedly worked together, and lasted for several weeks. But records show during that time Salvail was working in another department at Radio-Canada.

Earlier in the day, another Radio-Canada employee, whose identity is under a publication ban, testified for the prosecution and told the court the two men did work together. She said Duguay approached her immediately after the alleged sexual assault and said Salvail had exposed himself to him.

“His voice was quivering,” she told the court.

Before Salvail’s testimony on his employment records, he told the court that in 2018 he was made aware of three accusers. He said he knew only one of the accusers, without naming them. Salvail testified he never heard of Duguay, who is the only plaintiff in the case.

Salvail’s testimony is to continue Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2020.

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