Sexual assault trial: Major-General Dany Fortin's turn to testify on Tuesday

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Sexual assault trial: Major-General Dany Fortin 's turn to testify Tuesday

Major-General Dany Fortin will be called to the witness stand on Tuesday, at the Gatineau courthouse (archives).

The senior Canadian Armed Forces officer will be called as witnesses on Tuesday at the Gatineau courthouse as part of the second day of his trial.

The 54-year-old soldier years is accused of having committed the acts of which he is accused while he was in his second year of training at the Royal Military College of St-Jean, in 1988.

He showed up at the courthouse on Monday, dressed in his uniform, with his medals in full view, accompanied by his wife and daughter.

The trial, d two days, started on Monday. He stands before judge alone. Judge Richard Meredith is hearing the case.

Monday was devoted to the complainant's testimony and cross-examination. The woman, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, told the judge about the assault she allegedly suffered in 1988 as a young adult.

She explained that she was suddenly woken up one night while sleeping in her own bed. Dany Fortin was then leaning over her, and masturbating with the complainant's hand, which he held firmly around his penis. With his other hand, the accused touched her breasts, she described during her testimony.

The complainant claims to have immediately recognized her attacker, who was also studying at the military college. The defense lawyer, Me Isabel Schuman, then declared in court that she would challenge this identification.

The complainant explained that she was both surprised, under the shock, panicked and ashamed. She would have pushed him away, whispering to him to leave.

The complainant wanted at all costs to prevent anyone from discovering her in this position which she considered humiliating. This is why she would not have shouted or called for help at the time of the assault, she said.

She was at the time aware of alleged sexual misconduct experienced by other female students, and, again according to her testimony, felt that these women had been mistreated in the armed forces after reporting these acts. A real boys club, according to her. She was then worried about the impact that a denunciation would have had on her career.

In cross-examination, the woman had to explain to the court certain contradictions with the versions that she delivered to the investigators, when the complaint was filed in 2021.

In addition to Major-General Dany Fortin, other witnesses are scheduled to appear on Tuesday.

If found guilty, Major-General Dany Fortin could be subject to an administrative review by the Armed Forces, which could have significant consequences for his career and lead to a demotion or dismissal from the army. He continues to claim his innocence.

More details will follow.

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