The defence pleads the conspiracy theory

News 17 July, 2017
  • Photo archive, Josée Hamelin
    The former marist brother Réjean Trudel, accused of committing assault and sexual touching should be aware of the verdict of the judge in a few weeks.

    Carl Vaillancourt

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 21:36

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 21:36

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    SAINT-HYACINTHE | Ten alleged victims of the ex-religious have conspired to extort money in the event of a criminal conviction, according to the defence.

    In its argument filed Monday, the defense attorney, Melissa Gagnon, has not hesitated to question the credibility of each of the 11 witnesses called by the Crown, of which 10 alleged victims, in the framework of the trial of former marist brother Réjean Trudel.

    The latter is accused of having committed assault and sexual touching when he was the head of the centre Patro Lokal, over a period of 16 years, between 1970 and 1986. The facility was used for adolescents 12 to 17 years old placed, at the time, by the social services.


    Ms. Gagnon recalled several facts that would suggest that the opportunity to earn a large sum of money would be the motivation of the witnesses in the framework of the class action commenced in 2014 against the community of marist Brothers.

    “One of the witnesses has sent threatening emails to the congregation, one of which, on 14 April 2014, claiming that the marist Brothers had until April 18 to pay him the sum of 264 000 $, otherwise it would contact the media to share the abuse of which he was the victim “, she pleaded.

    For its part, the Crown prosecutor Marie-Claude Morin, has condemned the remarks made by his colleague that the alleged victims have filed a complaint for the wrong reasons.

    “It’s funny, but it is only when, in cases of sexual assault where it calls into question the credibility of the witnesses because they require a compensation of damages to pecuniary harm that they have experienced, while in other cases the criminal Code, we don’t talk about it, she explained in her presentation. For example, if an individual loses a leg due to a criminal negligence, he has the right to be compensated. Why not in the case of a sexual assault ? “

    Collusion ?

    According to the lawyer of the defense, the victims would have encountered on several occasions to develop a scheme to invent stories in order to obtain the conviction of his client.

    “Several witnesses have filed their complaint to the criminal after they have joined the class action, said ms. Gagnon. A criminal conviction can have an impact in a possible arrangement in connection with the class action. “

    The Crown prosecutor did not hesitate to question this statement in front of judge Richard Marleau.

    “It is not true that the decision given in a criminal trial to have precedence over the decision of a civil court ; what are the causes are independent, there is no evidence that this has an effect,” said the Crown prosecutor.

    Mr. Morin also pointed out that there was no evidence in the testimonies that show that they have been contaminated during a meeting reunion in 2013.