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Closing arguments begin at rape trial of former entertainment mogul Gilbert Rozon

MONTREAL — Closing arguments are underway at the rape trial of Gilbert Rozon, with his lawyer arguing that no crime occurred.

Defence lawyer Isabel Schurman is presenting her case to Quebec court Judge Melanie Hebert, who will hear from the Crown prosecutor Bruno Menard later today.

Rozon, 65, is charged with rape and indecent assault for acts allegedly committed in 1980 in St-Sauveur, Que., when he was 25 years old. The wording of the charges is based on what was in the Criminal Code at the time.

The complainant, who was 20 at the time and whose identity is protected by a court order, testified that Rozon aggressively tried to have sex with her after a night out and only relented after she fought him off. 

But she testified that the next morning, she woke to find him on top of her and that he raped her.

The founder of the Just for Laughs festival has denied any assault took place and testified that it was the young woman who got into bed with him, and he woke up to her straddling him.

Rozon was surrounded by a few dozen protesters today as he arrived for the hearing at the Montreal courthouse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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