Accused guilty of sexual assault | Three men acquitted of gang rape of two teenagers, despite their “astonishing” testimonies

(Joliette) Two teenage girls aged 15 and 17 describe a gang rape at the hands of three young men. Their story is “probably” accurate, according to the judge. However, a doubt persists due to their intoxication. The three men were acquitted of the most serious charge even though their testimonies were “astonishing” and one of them was ready to say “anything and everything”.


“We’re having a gang bang. »

These words spoken by one of the accused, according to a complainant, seem to sum up this evening which took place in the middle of a pandemic in April 2020. A party between friends where drugs, alcohol and sex combined. An evening, however, portrayed in a very different way by the accused and the victims.

Nathan Kalvin Jean-François, 21, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a minor under the age of 16 on Monday at the Joliette courthouse. However, he was acquitted of the most serious charge of sexual assault with the participation of another person. His co-accused, Montrealers Tommy Nicolas Michaud, 21, and Dave Saint-Jean, 22, were acquitted on all counts.

Only the fourth co-accused, tried in the Youth Chamber, is therefore guilty of having participated in a gang rape. He was sentenced to two years’ probation. His identity is being protected as he was a minor at the time.

In particular, judge Bruno Leclerc describes the complainants as “young women” in his decision, although they were 15 and 17 years old at the time of the facts. The teenagers’ versions are also summarized very summarily by the judge and make it difficult to understand the events, as well as the magistrate’s reasoning.

The two best friends consume cannabis before going to the party. As soon as they arrive, they accumulate “shooters” of alcohol. The youngest therefore only remembers snatches of her evening. The oldest has some memory lapses, but remembers more of the events.

Both plaintiffs describe a sinister gang rape: forced fellatio and full-on sexual intercourse with several combinations of the defendants and the convicted minor. They never consented to these actions, they assure. At one point, the youngest was even unconscious, according to the other teenager.

An accused “ready to say anything and everything”

The three co-defendants claim that the teenagers consented to each sexual encounter. It is even young girls who sometimes initiate sexual relations, according to them. The three men gave “astonishing” testimony, according to the judge.

Dave Saint-Jean is even portrayed by the magistrate as the type of witness “ready to say anything and everything to justify himself”. The accused thus remembered the exact order of the passage of a cannabis joint or the time indicated on a dial at a precise moment, three years later.

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

In the photo, Dave Sant-Jean, Tommy Nicolas Michaud, and Nathan Kalvin Jean François, 21 years old

Tommy Nicolas Michaud and Dave Saint-Jean – the two acquitted accused – claim not to have seen the complainants drink alcohol that evening. Furthermore, they did not observe any “intoxication whatsoever” among the adolescents. They were “completely normal” in their eyes.

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Dave Sant-Jean, 22 years old

However, videos filed as evidence show that the complainants were intoxicated, the judge held. Nathan Kalvin Jean-François even carries the 15-year-old in his arms so that she can rest after vomiting.

However, there is nothing to “entirely” reject the testimony of the accused, Judge Leclerc believes, even if the actions described by the complainants “probably occurred”. The judge therefore gives them the benefit of reasonable doubt.

“It is rather the testimony of the complainants which is subject to caution, given their state of intoxication and the possible contamination, even involuntary, of their versions,” concludes the judge.

According to the magistrate, the complainants’ testimonies are “insufficient” to prove beyond a reasonable doubt their incapacity to consent. The judge, however, elaborates little on this subject, limiting himself to saying that the testimony of the complainants is unreliable.

The case of Nathan Kalvin Jean-François is special. He himself admitted in chief interrogation to having “not paid attention” to whether the 15-year-old girl was “consenting” during their sexual encounter. However, tacit consent does not exist in Canadian law.

Thus, Jean-François admitted to having turned the teenager over to “take her doggy style” after having received oral sex. He then turned her over again to continue the sexual relationship, never caring if she consented. He tried to defend himself during cross-examination by claiming to have said the “opposite” of his thoughts, but the judge did not believe him.

Jean-François’ lawyer, Me Ramy El Turaby, requested the preparation of a pre-sentence report with a view to imposing the sentence.

Me Andrew Nader and M.e Patrick Davis defended the other defendants, while Me Ariane Roy-Drouin and Me Roxane Gagné represented the public prosecutor.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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