Gilbert Rozon rape trial continues Wednesday at Montreal courthouse

The trial of Gilbert Rozon for rape and indecent assault continues Wednesday morning at the Montreal courthouse.

It started on Tuesday and is scheduled to last four days.

At the end of the first day, the founder of Just for Laughs said he would testify in his defense, though he is not required to do so. Like any accused person, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The 65-year-old is on trial on two counts for events that took place 40 years ago in the Laurentians, when he was 25.

As a first witness, the Crown called the complainant to the stand, who explained on Tuesday to Judge Mélanie Hébert how she met the accused and detailed their get-together at a nightclub in the Laurentians.

After the party, she said that Rozon offered to do some "necking" in the car, to which she said no. The witness said as Rozon was driving her back to her parents', he said he had to stop at his secretary's house to pick up documents. In the house, he threw himself on her to kiss her and put his hand on her breasts, she said.

She said she then struggled, they fell to the ground, then he stopped -- except that he didn't want to drive her home anymore, claiming to be too tired. He instead showed her a room where she could sleep, the witness said. 

When she woke up, she said Rozon was once again pushing himself on her aggressively -- so much so that she simply gave up. 

"I recall how constrained I felt, how much he dominated me, the power he had over my desire not to let him do it," she said. 

The witness said it was never a consensual relationship but she kept the anger to herself for four decades. She finally decided to go to the police when other women with similar stories came forward. 

Under cross examination, co-council Isabel Schurman tried to test the woman's credibility by confronting her with inconsistencies regarding dates and conversations. 

She suggested the plaintiff was in fact the one who went into Rozon's bedroom. 

The witness was also asked how many buttons her shirt had that day.She didn't dispute her memory lapses, claiming after all that this allegedly happened in 1980. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020. 

With files from CTV News' Stephane Giroux. 

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