Canada: Prosecutor calls for conviction of ex-producer Gilbert Rozon for rape

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The defense of the former Quebec producer Gilbert Rozon, tried in Montreal for rape and indecent assault, “defies logic”, pleaded the prosecutor by asking for the conviction of the deposed leader of the group “Just for laughs” at the end of his trial. Judge Mélanie Hébert announced that she would deliver her verdict on December 15. The representative of the public prosecutor, Bruno Ménard, tried to dismantle the arguments of the lawyers of the accused, who had denounced the “inconsistencies” and “lapses of memory” of the complainant in her account of the facts, which occurred in 1980.

These “inconsistencies”, according to them, justify the acquittal of Mr. Rozon for the benefit of the doubt. The alleged victim, 20 years old at the time of the facts, claimed that Mr. Rozon tried to kiss her and take off her underwear while they were alone in a house north of Montreal.

She had resisted, he had not insisted and they had each slept in a separate room. What happened the next morning is the subject of radically opposed accounts.

The complainant said she woke up because the former humor mogul was on top of her, to have sex. Although not consenting, she finally gave in to “be able to move on.” Mr. Rozon, 25 at the time, said he was woken up because the young woman was “astride” him “making love”.

He admitted to having been “consenting” while asserting that the sexual relation had been forced on him.

“It completely reverses the roles”, hammered the prosecutor, denouncing a story which “defies logic” and elements which “make no sense”. The testimony of the complainant is for its part “sincere and reliable”, according to him. Mr. Ménard considered it normal that the alleged victim had forgotten details of the scene.

“You have to take into account that it was 40 years ago,” he said.

The founder of the group “Just for Laughs” was splashed by accusations of sexual assault in October 2017, which forced him to leave his position in full movement #MeToo. Only the complaint of a woman had finally been accepted by justice. Mr. Rozon’s defense accused the plaintiff of having sued him to “make him pay” after #MeToo.

The prosecutor for her part recalled that she had said to have done it “for her daughter”, who was the same age as her at the time of the facts.

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