Judge to rule Dec. 15 in rape case of former entertainment mogul Gilbert Rozon

·2 min read

MONTREAL — The rape trial of former entertainment mogul Gilbert Rozon concluded Thursday with the Crown's final arguments, with the judge set to render her verdict on Dec. 15.

Prosecutor Bruno Menard argued the version of events presented by Rozon, the founder of the Just for Laughs festival, defies logic.

Rozon is charged with rape and indecent assault for acts allegedly committed in 1980 in St-Sauveur, Que., when he was 25 years old. The wording of the charges is based on what was in the Criminal Code at the time.

The complainant, who was 20 at the time and whose identity is protected by a court order, testified that Rozon aggressively tried to have sex with her after a night out and only relented after she fought him off.

She remained the night, and the next morning she woke to find him on top of her and he raped her, she testified. Rozon, 66, denied any assault took place and testified that it was the woman who got into bed with him.

In his final plea, Menard said the complainant came forward on behalf of her daughter and not only because of the #MeToo movement, as the defence contended.

Menard told Quebec court Judge Melanie Hebert that at the time of filing the police report, the complainant had a daughter who was the same age she was when the assault is alleged to have occurred.

In his closing, Menard attacked Rozon's testimony as having been modelled on that of the woman before diverging on the question of the incriminating parties.

Menard called Rozon's testimony contradictory, which attempts to turn the tables on whom did not seek consent, but makes no sense when examined closely.

Ultimately, Menard said the case rests on the credibility of the accused and the complainant.

And he said the credibility of the complainant "is sufficient to establish a conviction."

For its part, the defence argued the testimony of the complainant was unreliable and inconsistent.

Rozon's lawyer argued during her own final arguments if there is any doubt in the judge's mind, her client must be acquitted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press