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Evidence complete at Gilbert Rozon trial, judge to hear closing arguments in November

Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon walks the hall of the courthouse as he arrives for the beginning of his sexual assault trial in Montreal on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Evidence at the rape trial of Gilbert Rozon concluded Thursday as the former entertainment mogul once again denied under cross-examination that he ever assaulted the complainant.

“It didn’t happen,” he said. “I didn’t assault her, in any way.”

Upon leaving the courtroom, a journalist called out to Rozon, asking if he was innocent. “Absolutely,” he responded.

READ MORE: Gilbert Rozon takes the stand in his sexual assault trial

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

The complainant testified Tuesday that she and Rozon had gone out to a club together, and he sexually assaulted her after driving her to a house in the ski resort town north of Montreal.

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In his testimony, the founder of the Just for Laughs comedy festival told the prosecutor that the woman’s version of events doesn’t make sense.

“If I were an assailant, she would certainly not have slept at my place and removed her dress,” he said under questioning from Crown prosecutor Bruno Menard.

The Crown and defence have completed presenting evidence, and Quebec court Judge Melanie Hebert said she will hear closing arguments on Nov. 6.

Read more: Court of Appeal dismisses class action against Gilbert Rozon brought by women claiming abuse

The trial heard from only three witnesses, including the defendant and the complainant, who presented completely opposite versions of the events on the night in question.

The woman, 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 the morning after, she said, she woke to find him on top of her and that he raped her.

She repeated several times during her testimony that she did not consent to the encounter.

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Rozon, on the other hand, testified that it was the young woman who got into bed with him, and he woke up to her straddling him.

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He said he remembers thinking the woman’s behaviour was “bizarre” because she had rejected his advances the night before, but he went along with the sexual encounter.

He also denied other parts of her testimony, including that he’d told her he needed to go to his secretary’s house in the middle of the night, or that he’d suggested “necking” in the car.

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