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Canada Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon makes court appearance in rape case

19:10  06 november  2019
19:10  06 november  2019 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Gilbert Rozon renounces right to preliminary hearing in sexual assault case

  Gilbert Rozon renounces right to preliminary hearing in sexual assault case Gilbert Rozon renounces right to preliminary hearing in sexual assault caseRozon, a founder of Just for Laughs, was charged last December with rape and indecent assault, allegations stemming from a single female complainant and dating back nearly 40 years.

Gilbert Rozon wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building: Gilbert Rozon, 64, was not required to be present for the first date in the trial, in which he is charged with rape and indecent assault. © Dave Sidaway Gilbert Rozon, 64, was not required to be present for the first date in the trial, in which he is charged with rape and indecent assault.

For the first time since being charged last December, Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon was present in criminal court Wednesday to renounce to his right to a preliminary inquiry.

Rozon’s decision came one week before his preliminary inquiry was scheduled to begin at the Montreal courthouse. The hearing is usually used to determine if there is enough evidence to go ahead with a trial.

Rozon, 65, will now head directly to trial. The Crown said Wednesday it’s confident his trial will begin next year.

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Rozon is charged with rape and indecent assault . The charges are based on an allegation that he sexually abused a person between June and September 1980 in St-Sauveur, a town in the Laurentians about 60 kilometres north of Montreal.

The complainant in the case was expected to testify during the preliminary inquiry next week. A publication ban has been placed on her identity, including her age at the time of the alleged crimes.

The charges were also amended Wednesday to change the year to 1980; they previously alleged the acts took place in 1979.

Asked if he feels Rozon’s decision to go without a preliminary inquiry points the to Crown’s evidence in the case being strong, prosecutor Bruno Ménard said he couldn’t speak for the defence.

High court to review disclosure of Barry and Honey Sherman estate files

  High court to review disclosure of Barry and Honey Sherman estate files OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will review an appeal court's decision to unseal files related to the estates of wealthy Toronto couple Barry and Honey Sherman, who were found murdered two years ago. In June 2018, a judge made orders sealing the files, which concern the appointment of estate trustees and would ordinarily be available for public inspection under the open court principle. The sealing order stemmed from the notion that individuals named as beneficiaries or trustees of the estates would be at risk of harm because the Shermans were murdered.Soon after, a court denied Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan access to the files.

Rozon and his defence lawyer, Pierre Poupart, refused to take questions from reporters.

Rozon had previously chosen to be tried before a jury . He will now be back in court in early December to decide whether he wants to maintain his choice or opt for a trial by judge alone.

In a separate case, Rozon is being sued for $10 million by a group of women known as “Les Courageuses” (The Courageous Ones), who allege he abused at least 20 women between 1982 and 2016.

Rozon is challenging the decision that authorized the class-action lawsuit before the Quebec Court of Appeal. The court heard his arguments in May but has yet to rule on the case.

jfeith@postmedia.com

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