Brazeau’s accuser grilled as suspended senator’s sexual assault trial resumes

The defence attorney for suspended senator Patrick Brazeau grilled the Crown’s main witness at his client’s criminal trial Thursday as he resumed his determined effort to find gaps in her story.

GATINEAU, Que. — The defence attorney for suspended senator Patrick Brazeau grilled the Crown’s main witness at his client’s criminal trial Thursday as he resumed his determined effort to find gaps in her story.

Brazeau, back in court after a six-week break, is facing charges of assault and sexual assault arising from an alleged incident two years ago in the Quebec city of Gatineau. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Brazeau was kicked out of the Conservative caucus shortly after his arrest.

The female complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, has alleged that Brazeau pushed her down some stairs, hit her head against a wall and a staircase, spat on her and sexually assaulted her.

Earlier in the trial, defence lawyer Gerard Larocque suggested to the court that the woman started the physical confrontation that led to Brazeau’s arrest — accusing her of hitting Brazeau with her hand and a bra.

Brazeau’s lawyer has indicated his client plans to testify in his own defence — an appearance that could come next Tuesday. The judge-alone trial is taking place entirely in French.

On Thursday, the senator’s accuser was back on the stand for a fifth day.

She faced a scatter-shot cross-examination by Larocque, who picked up where he left off when the case was last heard April 2. The extended delay in court dates was caused by scheduling conflicts.

Larocque worked to highlight potential discrepancies to the court between the woman’s statements to police, made shortly after the alleged attack, and her testimony.

In one courtroom exchange, he noted how in a written police statement the woman alleged Brazeau strangled her with his hand by grabbing her throat.

He then drew Quebec Justice Valmont Beaulieu’s attention to gestures she made in a second statement to police — this one on video.

The video, which was played for the courtroom, shows the woman pressing her forearm to her throat to show the interviewing officer how Brazeau allegedly put her in a headlock to choke her. Moments later, in the same video, she gestures that he grabbed her neck with his hand.

She told the court Thursday that his alleged choke was only done with his forearm and that she used the hand gesture at the time to express to the officer that she felt “strangled.”

“At that time, it was very difficult for me to explain in detail what happened to me,” the woman said through an interpreter.

“I was very nervous.”

From there, Larocque continued to try to poke holes in the woman’s story by dissecting her statements. In another example, he noted that while she alleges Brazeau pushed her down some stairs, she also told police interviewer on video that he threw her down the flight.

In April, Larocque presented a photo in court, which was taken by Brazeau himself. It shows the suspended senator’s bare neck with red marks and scratches he allegedly suffered in the February 2013 incident.

The court has also seen several police photos showing bruises and red marks on different parts of the woman’s body.

She has described in detail how she clung to railing spindles as Brazeau allegedly hit her arm to make her let go. The woman has also accused him of trying to shove her down the stairwell with his feet.

She has alleged that when the thin, wooden banister spindles snapped, she tumbled down the flight of stairs.

Brazeau will face other legal hurdles, even after this trial wraps up.

He has a court date in June on charges of fraud and breach of trust in connection with his Senate expense claims.

Brazeau also faces charges related to allegedly being behind the wheel of a car while impaired in October, and for possessing a weapon in breach of his bail conditions. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

He was also arrested in April 2014 and charged with assault, possession of cocaine, uttering threats and breaching bail conditions. His arrest followed an alleged altercation involving a man and a woman at a home in Gatineau.

Brazeau also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read