Jury finds former PQ legislator Harold LeBel guilty of sexual assault

RIMOUSKI, Que. — A jury has found former Parti Québécois legislator Harold LeBel guilty of sexual assault.

A woman whose identity is under a publication ban had accused LeBel of sexually assaulting her in his condo in 2017.

The 60-year-old LeBel had testified that he and the complainant kissed after a third person who was with them went to bed, but that after they kissed they both backed off.

The complainant, whose identity is covered by a publication ban, had told the jury that LeBel became "aggressive'' when she refused his advances, unhooking her bra and insisting on entering a bathroom where she had sought refuge.

She alleged he then joined her in a Murphy bed where he repeatedly touched her sexually for several hours.

When confronted in an email about the events by the complainant, LeBel wrote that he had been drinking and had no memory of the incident.

The jury of nine women and three men began deliberations Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press