July 4, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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The trial of Michelle Wenne | The defense attacks the credibility of the complainant

The trial of Michelle Wenne |  The defense attacks the credibility of the complainant

(Quebec) Plaintiff testified “improbable” and lacked “credibility”, Michael Wenne’s attorney argued Friday in a court in Quebec.

Gabriel BelandGabriel Beland

Former columnist’s sexual harassment investigation Destiny And the founder of the Institute du Nouveau Monde (INM) are in the request stage. The defense has once again sought to undermine the credibility of the 29-year-old woman, who is barred from recognizing the court order.

“Her testimony was vague, we presented that it was calculated and she demonstrated that she could hide the facts”, ME Lida Sara Nourai, representing a 60-year-old man.

Defense spent a lot of time in its argument over the famous recording of a conversation between the complainant and Lis Payet. The young woman first gave the police a revised version.

“It shows that she only wants to share facts that support the focus of things,” the lawyer denied.

The plaintiff stated during interrogation that she had inadvertently surrendered the altered tape. The long version was finally sent to the defense when requested.

“If the complainant is the malicious person we are trying to portray, why would she finally send the unbridled version?” That fact must be taken into account. “E Michelle Burbe, prosecution attorney.

Uninteresting witness

The allegations against Michelle Wenne took place in the summer of 2008 in Quebec. The complainant was then 17 years old and had an internship at INM. At the time, she said, her employer was putting her hand near her panties in a taxi, then on her “vagina”, on her clothes, one evening as he was driving back to his hotel.

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According to the defense the taxi incident was “inaccessible”. “Would Mr. Wenne have touched his thigh near his genitals in a daytime taxi with his wife?” », Asked his lawyer.

As for the hotel event, Michelle Wenne “misunderstood” as she prepared to kiss her intern.

The crown does not believe it. She also recalled the testimony of Stephen Champrooks, a former colleague of INM.

The next day the young intern was upset by the facts testified by this “completely uninterested witness”. “Could it be because the accused put his hand on his shoulder?” Is this reasonable? M asksE Berube.

Crown opined that in 2015 the plaintiff “kept a plan” to sit with Liz Payet. It was at this meeting that the complainant signed the letter expelling Mr. Wenne.

Errors in the complainant’s testimony were very common, the Crown Prosecutor insisted. Mr. argued that she had “two and a half days of cross-examination.”E Berube.

“It is not so easy to come to court and stand up to tell about sexual harassment […]. We can’t come to tell a novel, we can’t come to tell a movie, “said the prosecutor.

It took years for the young woman to file a complaint with the police. She finally did in October 2017, thanks to the #moiaussi movement.

“She developed her career with the CV we know today,” the prosecutor said. “She doesn’t have to complain to ride the #moyussi wave.”

Quebec Court Judge Stefan Pauline took the case on advice. Michelle Wenne has been charged with sexual harassment and extortion.

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