APTN National News
Day three of the assault and sexual assault trial of suspended Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau began where the previous day’s proceedings ended, with the defence cross-examining the alleged victim with questions about a necklace.
The defence focused on the opening moments of the incident in the third-floor bedroom of the rented Gatineau, Que., home that ended when police arrived shortly after 9 a.m. that Thursday morning on Feb. 7, 2013, following a 911 phone call from a woman inside.
Gerard Larocque zeroed in on the minutia of the opening salvos of a conflict the alleged victim says left her scratched and bruised.
Larocque asked and re-asked, as an interpreter translated, about the exact moment she yanked off the necklace, which was given to her by Brazeau who said it once belonged to his mother. According to the alleged victim, the events began in full that February 2013 morning in the master bedroom, with its own bathroom, on the third-floor of the house.
A tall, lanky man, with salt and pepper hair and black rimmed glasses, Larocque leaned in and out as he questioned the alleged victim who stood to his left facing the white haired and mustachioed Quebec Judge Valmont Beaulieu. At times Larocque focused intently on the alleged victim as he asked her questions, at others he would pull away, take a step or two back and sweep his gaze across the gallery packed with reporters, making eye contact with one or two.
The alleged victim again repeated how Brazeau pushed her out of the room, knocking her down in a sitting position at the top of the stairs. She said Brazeau then got on the floor and started pushing her with his feet.
“He’s behind you, pushing you, asking for the necklace of his mother?” said Larocque.
“Yes,” she said.
Then he went back to her previous testimony about having a purple turtle-neck sweater and leopard print bra in her hands when she was pushed out of the bedroom.
“When you were on the stairs you had a sweater and bra with you?” said Larocque.
“Leaving the bedroom I had the sweater and bra,” she said.
“In your hands?” he said.
“Yes, leaving, yes,” she said.
Then, Larocque pressed her, recalling her previous testimony, on what hand she was using to hold onto the railing post. Was it the right? Which hand?
“I remembered I hung on with one hand and two hands,” she said.
Larocque then pressed her on the sweater and bra she was holding, that she said previously Brazeau grabbed from her hands later in the alleged attack.
The victim said she didn’t remember the details of those moments, only that somehow the bra and sweater ended up on the stairs in front of her and that she grabbed them again as she tumbled down the stairs.
“This is a story you have told to police that arrived at the house and later at the police station,” said Larocque. “You have never mentioned you let go of the sweater and bra on the stairs and then you grabbed it again.”
She again said, forcefully, she didn’t remember every detail of those heated moments.
“I submit that in the bedroom you moved close to my client and you started to hit him with the sweater in one hand and the bra in the other and he grabbed the bra, that is where he grabbed it and that is why you didn’t have it,” said Larocque.
“It’s false,” said the woman.
Then Larocque rewound the event to where she said it began to get violent. It was in the master bedroom’s bathroom, she testified previously, where she retreated to change her clothes after Brazeau demanded she immediately leave the house.
The alleged victim testified she demanded Brazeau leave the bathroom as she was pulling on her jeans and was preparing to change from her tank top into the bra and purple turtle-neck sweater. She said Brazeau pushed her out of the bathroom and bedroom to the top of the stairs where she fell in a sitting position before the fall.
This is not what happened, said Larocque.
“I suggest that Mr. Brazeau, while in the bedroom, took a phone and dialed a number and spoke into the phone while you were in the bathroom,” said Larocque.
“I don’t know,” said the woman.
“I suggest that while you were changing Mr. Brazeau made a phone call,” he said.
“I don’t remember,” she said.
The trial resumes Wednesday afternoon.
Brazeau has pleaded not guilty to both assault and sexual assault charges.
Tuesday’s court hearing heard testimony from the alleged victim who recounted her dramatic journey from Colombia to Canada.