POLITICS

Patrick Brazeau's Trial On Sexual Assault, Assault Charges Continues

04/02/2015 10:06 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 05:59 EDT
GATINEAU, Que. - Patrick Brazeau's defence lawyer presented a photo of the suspended senator's bare neck to his criminal trial Thursday, an image that allegedly shows red marks and scratches he suffered in the incident that led to his arrest.

The photo was submitted on a day attorney Gerard Larocque also confirmed Brazeau will testify in his own defence against the assault and sexual assault charges, which arose from an incident two years ago in Gatineau, Que.

The female complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, has alleged that Brazeau pushed her down some stairs, hit her head into a wall and on a stair, spat on her and sexually assaulted her.

The court has seen several police photos showing bruises and red marks on different parts of the woman's body.

Brazeau has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was kicked out of the Conservative caucus shortly after his arrest.

During the first four days of the trial, Brazeau's lawyer has been gradually trying to present another potential scenario.

Larocque has suggested that the Crown's main witness — Brazeau's alleged victim — instigated the physical confrontation that led to his client's arrest. He has accused her of striking Brazeau with her hand and a bra.

The woman has denied Larocque's allegation.

"That's false," she told the court last week through an interpreter.

On Thursday, the attorney submitted the photo of Brazeau's neck to Quebec Justice Valmont Beaulieu, minutes before proceedings wrapped up for the day.

Larocque later told reporters the marks on his client's neck in the photo were a result of the incident that led to the criminal charges.

The photo, he added, was taken by Brazeau himself upon his release from jail on Feb. 8, 2013 — the day after his arrest.

In front of the judge Thursday, Larocque continued his attempts to poke holes in the woman's story.

He highlighted potential contradictions in remarks she made in several police statements and interviews, as well as the 911 call the day of the alleged incident.

In one exchange, the lawyer pointed out that she hadn't informed police in earlier statements about allegations she made during the trial — that Brazeau hit her forearms with his hand several times to try and get her to let go of a railing.

The woman replied by saying she only gave general details of the alleged assault in her statement to police in February 2013.

"I simply told them I was hit," she told the court.

"At no moment was I asked for specific details."

In another example, Larocque grilled the witness when she apparently revealed for the first time that she spat back after Brazeau allegedly spat on her.

He told her he didn't recall her telling any authorities, in statements nor in interviews, before Thursday that she spat at Brazeau. Larocque asked her if she recalled mentioning it to authorities.

"Right now, I can't remember if I spoke about spitting at that moment in time," the woman said.

The attorney also challenged the complainant's response to the 911 operator's question to her shortly after the alleged attack. Larocque tried to expose a contradiction, saying that when the operator asked her if Brazeau had hit her in the face, she replied that he hadn't.

He then showed the courtroom a segment from the her videotaped interview with police.

"He did this to my face," the woman tells her police interviewer in the footage, as she's shown patting her own cheek with an open hand to demonstrate.

After viewing the video, the woman told the court that she couldn't remember some of the details from that day.

"I just know that he hit me," she said.

Outside the courtroom Thursday, Larocque told reporters Brazeau himself will take the stand during the trial, but he did not say when.

The trial is scheduled to resume May 14 with Larocque's continued cross-examination of Brazeau's alleged victim. The judge also set a follow-up date for the proceedings on May 19.

On his way out of the courthouse Thursday, Brazeau uttered only a few words to journalists as they peppered him with questions. He seemed like he wanted to address the media, but he held back as he walked to the parking garage.

"I have to be patient, so be patient," said Brazeau, who has spoken very little to reporters since the trial began.

Even after this trial ends, Brazeau will face other legal hurdles.

He's due back in court in June on charges of fraud and breach of trust in connection with his Senate expense claims.

Last year, the Senate ordered Brazeau to repay almost $50,000 over disputed expense claims. He refused and the Senate garnisheed his salary until November 2013, when he was suspended without pay.

Brazeau also has a court date April 10 for other unrelated charges from alleged incidents from October and last April.

He faces charges related to allegedly being behind the wheel of a car while impaired in October, and for possessing a weapon in breach of his bail conditions. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

He was also arrested last April and charged with assault, possession of cocaine, uttering threats and breaching bail conditions. His arrest followed an alleged altercation involving a man and a woman at a home in Gatineau.

Brazeau also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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Scene After Brazeau's April 2014 Arrest