Paul Sadlon testifies in sexual assault trial

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

Paul Sadlon took the stand in a Barrie courtroom Wednesday to deny allegations he sexually assaulted a woman after a business meeting in 2019.

The 89-year-old automotive giant testified he never touched, kissed, hugged or groped the complainant.

Earlier this week, Sadlon's accuser, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, told the court he rubbed his pelvis into hers while trying to force his tongue into her mouth and that he grabbed her breasts before she could leave the room.

His lawyers have spent the past three days trying to cast doubt on her claims.

The complainant's boss and colleagues also testified for the Crown. Her boss told the court he learned of the allegations from the woman later that night in an email.

Colleagues who attended the business meeting with the complainant and Sadlon testified they didn't see him touch her.

She claimed he put his hand on her arm while making a tasteless joke during the meeting. Sadlon told the court he didn't recall making the remark.

"I can't remember saying that," he said.

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Things got heated Wednesday afternoon during the Crown's cross-examination of the Barrie businessman.

Sadlon fiercely rejected the Crown's repeated suggestions that he forced himself on the complainant once they were alone in the room after the meeting.

He told the court he had felt annoyed with the meeting, saying his business request wasn't being met and he wasn't "a happy camper."

He also voiced his disappointment with the woman, noting she had asked her colleagues to join in the meeting.

"I don't appreciate the fact that you called these fellows in," he said. "It was none of your business to do that," testifying that his tone of voice "wasn't pleasant."

Sadlon told the court he saw the woman tear up a bit as she made her way around the table to leave the room, and that's when he said he used the F-word to reiterate his business request.

While answering the Crown's cross-examination, Sadlon's frustration peaked, and he stated, "You're not listening when I answer the question."

At that point, Justice Joe Wilson cautioned both Sadlon and the Crown to stop interrupting one another.

The trial is expected to wrap up on May 27 with closing submissions.