Military committee to come to a verdict on sexual assault case
Is former Corporal Stephanie Raymond a victim of the sexual urges of a superior or a manipulator attempting to save face?
A committee of five military staffers will have have to decide just that after finals arguments were heard in the high-profile case Tuesday.
Both prosecution and defence delivered final arguments Tuesday in the trial of Warrant Officer André Gagnon, who is accused of sexually assault in a general court martial in Quebec.
The defence claims that Gagnon had an “honest but mistaken belief” that he had received consent to sexual intercourse.
Gagnon, according to the prosecution, did not obtain consent and showed “willful blindness.”
Lieutenant Colonel Marylene Trudel argued that the ex-Corporal Raymond had shown no sign, either verbal or physical, to give the impression that she was open to Gagnon’ sexual exchanges on December 15, 2011 in the Lévis Armoury.
Warrant Gagnon acted unilaterally against the accused with kisses, sexual touching, oral sex and attempted penetration, said Trudel.
Defence lawyer Philippe-Luc Boutin, described the alleged victim as a woman “calculator” and “seductress” who wanted to see how far she could manipulate the accused.
“We are not talking here of a girl aged 16 or 17 but a 27-year-old woman (in 2011) who has seen a lot,” said Boutin.
The defence argued that Raymond consented to Gagnon’s advances and that he was the victim of the woman’s misguided choices and loss of inhibition, the result of drinking in the hours before the incident.
“She’s trying to save face and her reputation rather than stand up and admit that she made a bad choice,” said Boutin in front of Military Judge Mario Dutil.
Both prosecution and the defence agree that the complainant accompanied the accused in Lévis on Dec. 15, 2011 after a Christmas dinner that involved alcohol.
Gagnon claims that the young woman accepted his invitation but she said that she was ordered to follow.
Once upstairs Gagnon said that Raymond sat on his lap for several long minutes, which she denied.
Both sides agreed that the accused then started touching the woman, undressed her and performed oral sex on her.
Raymond’s resistance was passive but she refused to have intercourse and the incident stopped at that point.
The five committee members must now determine whether Gagnon had grounds to sincerely believe that Raymond consented to his sexual advances.
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