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Ex-players accused of sexual assault, Massimo Siciliano and Nicolas Daigle. (Archive photo)
Érik Chouinard (View profile)Érik Chouinard
On Wednesday, the court rejected the request to exclude the evidence made by Nicolas Daigle and Massimo Siciliano, the two former Victoriaville Tigres players accused of having sexually assaulted a 17-year-old young woman and of having filmed a video of her unsuspected.
The evidence collected on their cell phones may be presented during the trial. The exclusion of the evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute, concluded Judge Thomas Jacques in his decision, based in particular on the seriousness of the accusations.
The defendants' lawyers tried to make this evidence inadmissible, arguing among other things that the warrantless seizures of the phones violated the rights of their clients, which the judge rejected.
In his decision, Thomas Jacques argues that the police had good reason to believe that the phones contained evidence, as they were made aware of electronic communications between the victim and each of the accused, and that there was potentially a video of the minor victim showing sexual acts.
There was therefore a clear link between the objectives of the seizure, the elements sought and the offenses alleged.
The judge also excuses the fact that the police did not notify the suspects of the seizure in advance. The seizure without a warrant aims to preserve the evidence in the circumstances; it would be completely illogical for the police to notify it beforehand, he argues in his decision.
The contents of the cellphone evidence are under seal until presented at the trial which begins October 6, although some elements have already been presented at the motions hearing.
The defendants had a second preliminary request, that of being able to question the alleged victim about her sexual behavior during the trial. This decision was made in camera, as was the hearing.
Even though they were present during the preliminary hearings, the accused attended distance from the judge's decision.
The alleged events date back to June 2021 and allegedly took place in a hotel in Lac-Beauport, in the region of Quebec, where the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team was hosted during the President's Cup playoffs.
Érik Chouinard (View profile)Érik ChouinardFollow