Trial of a former UQAM professor | Accused of sexual assault, he says he was afraid of the victim to the point of installing cameras

A former UQAM professor accused of beating and sexually assaulting a woman posed as a quasi-victim Thursday as part of his defense. Brad Aeon claims to have been so afraid of the alleged victim after reading her violent fictional writings that he installed surveillance cameras in his home.

“I was really afraid that one day she would show up at my house. Let her follow me. I installed security cameras,” Brad Aeon whispered, his voice breaking, before bursting into tears. Judge Marie Kettlyne Ruben then ordered a break in his testimony.

Precise and in control, Brad Aeon testified with conviction in his defense Thursday at the Montreal courthouse, denying having sexually assaulted Violette*, the complainant. “All of our sexual acts were respectful and consensual,” he said.

But at the end of his testimony, the renowned researcher broke down by revealing that he had developed severe post-traumatic shock. The accused confided that he had read the complainant’s fictional writings with horror following the accusations.

“I was exposed to extreme violence for the first time,” he said, upset. “That should have been a warning to me,” he continued.

To protect Violette’s identity, the exact nature of her fictional writings cannot be revealed.

Violette gave hard-hitting testimony Monday, describing numerous very violent and non-consensual sexual encounters with the accused during their brief relationship in 2021 and 2022. At the time, Brad Aeon, a specialist in time management and well-being, had just been appointed professor at UQAM.

According to Violette’s account, Brad Aeon slapped her “extremely hard” during their first sexual encounter, while she was intoxicated. She had to block a second blow with her arm. On their second meeting, the accused allegedly strangled her with both hands. When she wanted to leave the apartment, the accused stopped her, she said.

Punches on the buttocks, extremely strong bites, powerful slaps: Brad Aeon was violent during sex and did not verify consent, she testified. Sometimes she acquiesced to the gestures, but only as a “strategy”, to avoid his wrath.

On Thursday, Brad Aeon presented a much different version of their relationship. It was “casual” and “non-romantic”, even though he traveled to the United States twice with her. Furthermore, Violette had a “disproportionate reaction” when their relationship ended, he insisted.

According to the accused, Violette was “dominant” in bed and talked a lot about feminism. It was also she who wanted to be strangled, bitten on the back and chewed on the neck, he relates. She was also the one who asked him to pretend to hit her with his fist. He assures that he has always respected Violette’s limits.

On one occasion, Violette insisted on being bitten harder and harder. However, Brad Aeon refused because he did not want to bite her until she bled, he said.

In her testimony, Violette insisted that the accused frequently bit her on the arms. Her body was often covered in bruises, she said. However, according to the accused, Violette “scored easily”. Thus, it was by stabilizing her with his thumbs during sexual intercourse that he inflicted bruises on her arms.

An episode of public violence was particularly impactful for Violette. That evening, Brad Aeon allegedly bit her arm “extremely hard” in the street when she refused to leave with him. He allegedly pretended to attack her with his bicycle helmet and punched her. “I was terrified,” she said. A version rejected by Brad Aeon.

“We kissed, we nibbled each other’s necks. She said ouch, it’s too loud,” he testified, trivializing the incident.

Several episodes recounted by Violette are “particularly improbable”, according to Brad Aeon. For example, on one occasion, the woman said that the accused performed cunnilingus on her to prevent her from leaving the apartment. However, he does not like this sexual practice, he insisted. So he wouldn’t have done that.

His cross-examination will begin on Friday.

Me Lauren Dahan represents the Crown, while Me Adam Ginzburg defends the accused.

*Fictitious name


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