Stay of proceedings at the trial of Dr. Arcel Bissonnette

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Suspension proceedings at the trial of Dr. Arcel Bissonnette

Dr. Arcel Bissonnette, accused of sexual assault, heads to court in Winnipeg, January 17, 2023.

The trial of Dr. Arcel Bisonnette, accused of sexually assaulting patients in Saint-Anne, Manitoba, will not go forward. The Crown requested a stay of proceedings on Wednesday morning, after reviewing evidence provided by police last week.

In this trial, the doctor faced six counts of sexual assault. Two other trials are scheduled for the other 16 charges of the same nature against him.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Nadine Vasas said: After reviewing information provided last week, we requested a stay of proceedings. It's finish. She noted that the Crown must satisfy itself that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction.

The accused, in a white shirt and purple tie, sat calmly next to his wife during the hearing. He did not flinch when the Crown announced the stay of proceedings.

This trial, which was supposed to last four weeks and during which 10 witnesses were to be heard, somehow never really started. Indeed, it was punctuated by a series of adjournments from day one.

So on January 16, defense attorneys Marty Minuk, Josh Weinstein and Lisa LaBossiere requested an adjournment, raising doubts about the integrity of the Ste. Anne Police Department's investigation. As the defense team prepared the case several months ago, they were told they had all of the evidence, Lisa LaBossiere said on the first day of hearings.


However, last month, the defense learned that the notebooks of the policewoman who was in charge of the investigation within the police force of Sainte-Anne could not be found. Eventually, Judge Anne Turner suspended the work.

The following days of hearings all ended fairly quickly in adjournments, while the defense considered new evidence provided by the Crown. Subsequently, investigators from the Sainte-Anne Police Department provided new evidence to the defense and the Crown, prosecutor Paul Girdlestone said Friday, asking for a new adjournment. “e-p”>We are not quite where we expected to be, he admitted during the hearing.

Back before the judge on Monday, he requested a further adjournment until Wednesday. It was at this point that the Crown finally requested a stay of proceedings.

This stay does not, however, put an end to Dr. Arcel Bissonnette's legal troubles. The 60-year-old had been charged with six counts of sexual assault at the time of his arrest in 2020. Other alleged victims have since come forward, and 16 counts of sexual assault were added during the arrest. x27;Fall 2021.

The charges relate to events that allegedly took place between 2004 and 2017 and are the result of a lengthy investigation by local police. The alleged assaults took place at the hospital as well as at the Sainte-Anne Medical Center, according to police in the community located 40 kilometers southeast of Winnipeg.

Prosecutor Nadine Vasas was unable to provide dates for Dr. Bissonnette's other trials.

With information from Victor Lhoest

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