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Two people prosecuted for revealing the identity of Harold LeBel's victim

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Former MP Harold LeBel was found guilty of sexual assault on November 23, 2022. (Archive photo)

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Two people find themselves in front of the courts because they did not respect the non-publication order which protected the identity of the victim of the former MP for Rimouski, Harold LeBel, found guilty of #x27;sexual assault in November 2022. According to our information, this is a first in the country.

Monday morning, Sylvain Fortin, from Terrebonne, and Stéphane Vigeant, from Repentigny, appeared at the Rimouski courthouse through their lawyers. They were accused of having disclosed the name of Catherine Fournier or elements allowing her to be identified during the trial last year.

Both individuals have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them. They will be back in court on January 8, 2024.

The prosecutor responsible for the case, Me Alex Turcotte, recalls that at the start of the trial #x27;Harold LeBel in 2022, Superior Court Judge Serge Francoeur issued a publication ban which aimed to prohibit any publication in traditional or social media that would identify the victim in the case, he explains.

According to the investigation carried out by the Sûreté du Québec, two individuals transgressed this order made by Judge Francoeur at the start of the trial, adds Me Turcotte .

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The prosecutor in charge of the case, Me Alex Turcotte, responds to questions from journalists after the appearance.

If found guilty, Both defendants face a fine of up to $5,000 and a maximum prison term of two years less a day.

In an interview on Isabelle Richer's show on RDI, Catherine Fournier said she was relieved that charges were finally laid.

It sends a good message, it means that there is no impunity, that there is an article in the Criminal Code that we intend to enforce for the rights of victims.

A quote from Catherine Fournier

When her identity was revealed, Ms. Fournier recalls that she felt betrayed. She believes that breaking an order has serious consequences on the lives of victims and on their confidence in the judicial system.

Being able to protect one's identity is often what will convince a victim to file a complaint, she says.

During the trial of their aggressor, in November 2022, she reported the breaches of the publication ban to Sûreté du Québec investigators.

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The former PQ MP and mayor of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, was the victim of sexual assault and finally chose to lift the veil on his identity, five months after the end of Harold LeBel's trial. (File photo)

The SQ confirms that the charges filed Monday represent the culmination of an investigation by the Rimouski major crimes division into the Harold LeBel case.

According to the court order, the identity of the victim of Harold LeBel had to remain confidential. Five months after the trial, Catherine Fournier, however, decided herself to lift the veil on her identity and tell her story.

With the collaboration of Marie-Christine Rioux

  • Julie Tremblay (View profile)Julie TremblayFollow
  • Mathieu Berger (View profile)Mathieu BergerFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116