Final arguments in JFL founder Gilbert Rozon’s rape trial

Click to play video: 'Just For Laughs founder’s trial draws protesters' Just For Laughs founder’s trial draws protesters
Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon enters the Montreal courthouse surrounded by protesters. He is charged with rape and indecent assault for acts allegedly committed in 1980 – Nov 6, 2020

Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon’s criminal trial for rape and indecent assault enters its final stage Friday. Lawyers for the accused and prosecutors are expected to present two very different versions of the facts offered during the trial.

Rozon is on trial for rape and indecent assault. The charges stem from an incident that allegedly took place in 1979 in Saint-Sauveur, Que. Rozon was 25 at the time.

The crime of “rape” no longer exists by that name in Canada’s criminal code — it is now referred to as “sexual assault” — but the charges were laid under the criminal code in force at the time. The identity of the woman involved in the incident has been protected.

Read more: Evidence complete at Rozon trial

Earlier in the trial, the complainant testified 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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On the day the charges against him were first laid nearly two years ago, Rozon said in an email statement, “I learned this morning that charges were laid against me concerning an alleged case dating back almost 40 years old. I will continue to defend myself in court and I reserve any comments for the moment.”

Friday’s final arguments will be made in court before a judge alone, as Rozon has elected not to be tried before a jury.

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