City of Montreal defends its actions in handling alleged taxi sexual assault case

The city of Montreal says it did all it could in its power after a Dorval woman filed a complaint claiming she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver in 2014, arguing that it may have happened even if any preventive measures were in place.

Marie-Anne Legault, 31,  is suing the Montreal Taxi Bureau, Montreal police and the Quebec Transport Commission alleging they mishandled her complaint and that they didn't do anything to address the problem of other assaults. Legault is suing for $250,000 alleging the city and the commission could have done more to prevent such assaults.

Legault testified yesterday that she only found out on her own that another woman had been assaulted by the same driver and about an increase in the number of sexual assaults in Montreal taxis by cabbies at the time.

CJAD 800 News reported in February 2015 that 12 sexual assaults were on the books for 2012, 33 reported in 2013, and 27 in 2014. 

Montreal police said at the time that they didn't warn the public because the number of incidents was considered low.

City lawyer Chantale Beauvais said during closing arguments that of the 27 reported incidents in 2014, 11 were considered suspects and one was charged.

Marie-Anne Legault suing Montreal taxi bureau, Montreal police, Que Transport Commission for $250,000 for negligence in handling her complaint for sexual assault by a cabbie and other cases. Her lawyer Karim Renno says she's not in it for the money; she wants change. #CJAD

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) February 22, 2018

Legault testified yesterday she was surprised and upset Montreal police told her that her case was closed because there was "not enough evidence of not consenting."

Legault testified taxi bureau officials made her feel like a nuisance and didn't appear to take her complaint seriously.

Legault said she also found out later that the driver was given a $172 ticket for discourteous service and found guilty.

Beauvais argued that it's not true that nothing was done about Legault's complaint - that the taxi bureau and police followed procedures, that they can't share information about such cases because they're confidential, that they can't act if there are no charges, and that they can't have awareness campaigns about everything.

Beauvais also dismissed Legault's argument that there were no resources or support for her and other sex assault victims, saying that's what groups helping victims of sexual assault and other crimes are for.

Beauvais said even if they conducted a criminal background check, nothing would have turned up for the cabbie in question because he didn't have a criminal record.

Justice Michel Déziel will take the case under deliberation and render his decision at a later date.