13 July 2020 10: 24
Updated at 17h57
The Crown claim the right to attack the credibility of Éric Salvail
The Canadian Press
The Crown will be able to 4 September next year, if his attack on the credibility of Éric Salvail is eligible or not.
Judge Alexandre Dalmau, of the Court of Québec, has taken under advisement Monday its decision to accept or reject the request of the Director of criminal and penal prosecutions to present a counter-evidence to demonstrate that the accused, in his testimony, gave “a wrong image and wrong” of his person to the magistrate.
The prosecutor Amélie Rivard presented three testimonies of people who said to have experienced either sexual touching, exhibitionism on the part of Eric Salvail, or remarks of a sexual nature so constant and repetitive. These are acts such as alleged, and an alleged sexual assault in a washroom of Radio-Canada in 1993, that led Donald Duguay to lodge a complaint against the producer and host fallen.
Éric Salvail, who was present in Court Monday, is accused of sexual assault, forcible confinement and sexual harassment, actions that would have been posed in 1993.
The approach of the Crown does not, however, aim to establish the evidence of similar facts, which would be to demonstrate that it is a behavior constant of the defendant, what rules of law do not allow him at this stage of the trial. The purpose of Me Rivard is rather counter to the words of Éric Salvail, who has insisted several times in his testimony on the fact that it was not so, that he was not that kind of person and people who know the know.
To Me, Rivard explained that it is the credibility of that statement that it intends to undermine : “If this evidence is allowed, it will only be used to attack the credibility of the accused and to re-establish an image that this could imply to the court without inviting the tribunal to conclude that it is the kind of person to commit this type of offence”, she said.
The judge Dalmau has also sought to establish the limits of the intervention : “If it is admitted, it is in order to ask me to reject the testimony of Mr. Salvail, especially the part where he says that : I have not done it, I wouldn’t have done it, I’ve never sexually assaulted people?”
“Exactly”, responded without hesitation to Me, Rivard.
Judge: “This is sexual assault”
None of the three witnesses who have come forward cannot be identified due to a court order, and none of the three does not intend to lodge a complaint either.
The lawyer Éric Salvail, Me Michel Massicotte, has long insisted on the fact that the three individuals in question were not criminal in the behaviour of his customer, including some about displaced people required in a group : “You have the portrait of my client, Mr. Salvail, who, in the company of people of his team, in front of everyone, made remarks, which can be salacious. It can be seen that there is behind it a playful look.”
The judge Dalmau has, however, recalled the content of the actions and the fact that the law does not distinguish between the perception of the people and the law : “Even if the witnesses do not necessarily perceive it as-is (…) me, when I read their description that they make gestures of Éric Salvail, these are sexual assaults.”
Diversion of trial
Michel Massicotte has also vigorously challenged the fact that Éric Salvail has put his reputation on the line when his main testimony, although certain passages suggest the opposite. I Massicotte has sought to demonstrate that it is the Crown, in cross-examination, who wanted to insist on this issue : “The attorney for the applicant was forced from the outset to put his reputation on the line by asking him if he had already crossed the line.”
The experienced lawyer has sought to demonstrate that, without the media hype around the case, the Crown would not have had subject matter to query : “The counter-evidence has been obtained of the famous testimony highly publicized of the respondent (Éric Salvail), and following its response on the respect of the line”, he advanced. According to him, the fact that the Crown has brought Éric Salvail, saying it does not crossed ever the famous line between humor and aggression, has elicited the reaction from members of the public who have then decided to make a statement that represents the counter-proof”.
I Massicotte has pushed its logic to the point of reproach to the Crown of wanting to divert the trial itself : “The presentation of counter-evidence of three witnesses on three separate events to be a bit confusing the trial regarding the allegations made by the complainant to a detailed examination of the morality of the respondent from his professional debut until recently”, he advanced, noting that the three witnesses made reference to the gestures, ranging from 1995 to 2017.
“There, we are no longer in the trial Duguay. It is in a new trial (…) It’s going to be a trial on the morality of Mr. Salvail.”
Not shaken, to Me, Rivard returned to the charge in reply, arguing that the defense was surely going to attack the credibility of Donald Duguay in his statement : “Before going to the contradictions of Mr. Duguay, you are always going to really imprint the credibility of Mr. Salvail and I think that this year-there can’t be done honestly and reasonably by a court with the image that Mr. Salvail has left in his testimony.”
During his testimony, Éric Salvail has denied the bulk of the allegations of Donald Duguay, calling them wacky.
Donald Duguay has himself asked to be publicly identified.