Paul Sadlon, 89, stands trial accused of sexual assault

Warning: Some readers may find the contents of this article triggering and/or disturbing.

Barrie businessman Paul Sadlon, 89, walked alongside his lawyer into a courtroom to stand trial on Monday, accused of sexually assaulting a woman following a business meeting nearly three years ago.

The Sadlon family is well-known in the Barrie area. Paul Sadlon has owned car dealerships in Barrie and Bradford for more than 50 years.

The automotive dealer was arrested a week before Christmas in 2019 for allegedly forcing himself on a woman whose identity is protected by a publication ban.

During her testimony, the woman told the court Sadlon made a lewd remark during the meeting while placing his hand on her arm.

She alleged Sadlon's vulgar remark suggested he wanted another woman "around the house to pet."

She testified that after the meeting ended and they were alone in the room, he hugged her, kissed her cheek and tried to put his tongue in her mouth against her will.

While hugging her, she said that he pressed his pelvis against hers and began moaning. She told the court he then grabbed her breast and she said, "Paul, you can't do that."

She said he then moved his hand away, so she turned her body and testified Sadlon then cupped her other breast from behind.

The complainant told the court she felt violated and shocked by the interaction.

She said after the encounter Sadlon didn't say a word.

In court on Monday, Sadlon appeared slow and frail, and remained silent throughout the proceedings.

At one point, during witness testimony, Sadlon, who turns 90 in November, started coughing uncontrollably. His family says he has a lung infection and requires the use of his puffer.

During cross examination, the defence suggested to the witness that Sadlon wanted to end their business relationship and claimed the woman told him, "You'll be sorry."

She disagreed with the defence's suggestions.

Sadlon's defence lawyer, Francesca Yaskiel, rejected the woman's sexual assault claims, saying, "I'm going to suggest to you absolutely nothing happened in that room."

Once again, the complainant disagreed.

The Crown expects to call at least four more witnesses to the stand during the three-day trial.

The allegations have not been proven in a court of law.