June 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Harold Lebel’s trial: Victim’s testimony “spectacular,” defense insists

Harold Lebel's trial: Victim's testimony "spectacular," defense insists

Harold Lebel’s attorney described the complainant’s testimony as “contradictory” during her closing arguments Wednesday morning, urging the jury to acquit her client. “We are not talking about a small improbability on the color of the curtains, we are at the heart, at the hard core of his arguments”, insisted Me Max Roy.

• Also Read: Sexual assault trial: “I felt trapped”, Harold Lebel testified

• Also Read: ‘I never did that’: Lebel denies allegations of sexual touch

For counsel, the victim’s testimony must raise a reasonable doubt among the 14 jurors, who discussed this key concept of the legal system at length.

“Basically, the proof is that Mr. LeBel and the complainant. […] At the end of your deliberations, and if that happens, if you say to yourself, “I don’t know who to believe,” it’s a sign that you have doubts and come back with a verdict of not guilty. ”, recalled Mr.e Roy.

Many doubts for protection

The lawyer who then started his analysis of the file claimed to have found several contradictions in the complainant’s testimony.

Among them:

  • How did a “nice guy who didn’t try to seduce her” suddenly “turned into a predator”?
  • How did he unbutton her one-handed bra from the first attempt when she was wearing a dress and a jacket over it?
  • Why, if he had assaulted her all night, “for five hours,” would LeBel have texted the victim the next day thanking her for “letting him stick around”?
  • Why would she have texted her friend, who was sleeping nearby, but never went to join her as she left the bathroom “shaking with fear”?
  • “Ask yourself the question: Where is the text message? Why didn’t she keep it? Are you convinced by his explanations? […] We are in the heart of the occupation,” said Me Roy.
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Contacts after the alleged incidents

The same observation was for the defense on the alleged victim’s and Harold Lebel’s continued relationship after the fact. The young woman confirmed on cross-examination that she had few exchanges or contacts with the deputy after the alleged facts, saying she did not want to create a sensation because of the location of the alleged assailant.

“The next weekend, remember she didn’t tell you about it in her testimony, she was alone in the car with Mr. Lebel and she pointed to the place where she grew up. Is it consistent with those who say there is discomfort or is it left unsaid,” says Me Roy.

“There is a difference between not creating a stir and making voluntary gestures towards those who are now accused,” the defense lawyer said.

“Let me go straight to the point, I believe the complainant’s account of the assault on her is unbelievable,” pleads Maxim Roy. “I believe that certain ambiguities, on their own, can raise a reasonable doubt. But the cumulative effect of all the ambiguities is too great and leads you to reject his testimony.

A loyal customer

Me Roy raised the prosecution’s cross-examination of his client with the jury, which he described as “reduced to details, to very peripheral points.”

By questioning Harold Lebel about his memories of the Metropolis event in 2012, an activity that took place the day before the alleged attack, the defense lawyer pointed to the moment he was alone during his police interrogation. , the Crown “enhanced the credibility” of his client.

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“I know M.e [Jérôme] Simard (Crown Prosecutor) was a very good lawyer. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that the best lawyers can’t handle good cross-examination when you’re dealing with a defendant who’s telling the truth.e Roy said, “Contradictions cannot be created out of nowhere.”

No decision has been taken until next Monday

Crown prosecutor Manon Gaudreault will deliver her closing arguments to the jury on Wednesday afternoon.

A conference will be held between the judge and the parties next Monday to determine final instructions to be presented to the jury. Jurors are then sequestered for deliberations leading to a verdict.