Two men were accused of revealing on social media the identity of the victim of former Parti Québécois MP Harold LeBel despite a judge’s order clearly prohibiting it.
We now know that it is Catherine Fournier, the current mayor of Longueuil, because she asked last April—after the end of the trial of Harold LeBel for sexual assault—that the order be lifted so that she could express herself on this issue.
Before, however, it was forbidden for anyone to reveal their identity: from the beginning of the criminal process, judge Serge Francoeur had decreed it. The protection of the identity of victims of sexual assault, provided for in the Penal Code, is the norm.
Also, the judge’s order was “clear,” said the Crown prosecutor in the case, Mr.e Alex Turcotte.
Two citizens, Sylvain Fortin and Stéphane Vigeant, were charged with a crime of “violation of the ordinance” on Tuesday morning at the Rimouski court. Represented by their respective lawyers, they pleaded not guilty.
One of them is accused of directly revealing M’s nameme Fournier on Twitter, and the other gave details that allow the identification of the victim, explained Me Turcotte on the phone.
It was the Sûreté du Québec that investigated this matter. The police force presented two files to the Director of Criminal and Criminal Prosecutions, who authorized the filing of complaints in both cases.
The evidence was handed over to the defendants’ lawyers, confirmed Me Turcotte. The case returns to court in January.
Recall that after being found guilty of a charge of sexual assault in November 2022, Harold LeBel was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Catherine Fournier had strongly complained that her name had been revealed against her will. “This guarantee of anonymity” is what allowed her to come forward and file a police report against her attacker, she wrote in an open letter published in April. She said at the time that she was still “heartbroken” thinking about that moment.
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