New witnesses to take the stand in Eric Salvail trial
At the criminal trial of media personality Eric Salvail, the court will hear additional witnesses alleging he sexually abused them starting on Monday.
This is the follow-up to the trial which began in February. The 51-year-old Salvail is accused of sexual assault, criminal harassment, and the forcible confinement of Donald Duguay.
The charges allegedly took place in 1993, when the two men were young adults. They both worked at Radio-Canada at the time, according to Mr. Duguay, who requested to be identified publicly.
Crown Attorney Amélie Rivard asked the judge for special permission to call in new witnesses. During the trial, the accused mentioned his ‘good reputation,’ saying he was not the type of person to commit the alleged offenses.
That allowed Rivard to push the court to allow new evidence to challenge those statements. Judge Alexandre Dalmau of the Court of Quebec granted the request.
The crown prosecutor will call three or four ex-colleagues of the accused to the stand, who say they too have been subjected to sexual touching, exhibitionism, or comments of a sexual nature repeatedly from Eric Salvail.
The prosecutor’s objective is to undermine Salvail’s credibility.
These three witnesses cannot be identified due to a court order. None of them are expected to lodge a complaint with the police.
Eric Salvail was arrested by the police in January 2019.
Donald Duguay alleges that he was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in October 1993, nearly 27 years ago, in a Radio-Canada bathroom, after several months of advances, harassment, sexual comments and inappropriate touching in the workplace. He filed a complaint against the ex-host in 2017.
Eric Salvail chose to testify at his trial. He has denied all allegations against him, calling Duguay’s account “far-fetched.”
He has also argued on several occasions that he was no longer working at Radio-Canada when the acts for which he was accused were allegedly committed.
-- This report from the Canadian Press was first published on Nov. 8 2020