Alleged Sexual Assault: Dominique Laroche Summoned to Trial
Dominique Laroche was smiling before entering the courtroom. He was accompanied by his lawyer, Me Stéphanie Pelletier-Quirion.
Accused of sexual interference, incitement to sexual contact and sexual assault against a young woman, the former freestyle skier Dominique Laroche has been cited for trial .
The preliminary inquiry that began Tuesday at the Quebec City courthouse was originally scheduled to last two days, but ended faster than expected.
Dominique Laroche, 64, has chosen to stand trial before a judge alone of the Court of Quebec.
Her case will return to court in the coming weeks to set the trial dates.
The acts alleged against Dominique Laroche began when the complainant was 13 years old and continued on a period of about twelve years, ending in 2020.
During the preliminary investigation on Tuesday, the alleged victim detailed the actions she blames the 62-year-old man. But the content of his testimony cannot be broadcast. Dominique Laroche's lawyer requested a publication ban to protect the upcoming trial.
For a little over two hours, the complainant responded in turn to questions from the prosecution and defense lawyers.
The young woman managed to contain her emotions during this exercise. On the other hand, she burst into tears as soon as she left the courtroom, during a break.
To help her during her testimony, she was accompanied by a support dog from the Sûreté du Québec, named Sundae.
She held on to her leash firmly while throughout the hearing.
A few steps away from her, Dominique Laroche listened to her testimony, with a relaxed air, taking notes.
Precautions were taken to keep it out of the alleged victim's field of vision.
The young woman almost escaped this ordeal, which was to last two days at the Quebec City courthouse.
Due to legislative changes, the preliminary investigation which was to have place last summer was canceled at the last minute.
Dominique Laroche at the Quebec City courthouse, Thursday, July 21, 2022 (File photo)
It was because the Superior Court had just rendered a decision in a case similar to that of Laroche.
The judge had ruled that the Criminal Code no longer allowed an accused in this situation to be entitled to a preliminary investigation.
Except that the Court of Appeal overturned this decision, which allowed Laroche to take advantage of this step of the judicial process.
In addition to the plaintiff, four other people marched before Judge Steve Magnan on Tuesday, including another civilian witness and three police officers.
The latter presented the technical aspect related to the evidence gathered during the investigation.
Former freestyle skier Dominique Laroche was a real estate broker when he was arrested.
Me Michel Bérubé represents the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions while Me Stéphanie Pelletier-Quirion defends the interests of the resident of Lac-Beauport.
The latter always intends to present, if necessary, a motion for a stay of proceedings. According to the lawyer, the police illegally detained Laroche for 11 hours during his arrest on June 2, 2021.
With the collaboration of Raphaël Beaumont-Drouin< /em>