Sexual assault trial resumes for military commander who led Canada’s vaccine rollout


WARNING: This article incorporates graphic content material and should have an effect on these who have skilled​ ​​​sexual violence or know somebody affected by it.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin resumed his testimony on the third day of his sexual assault trial Monday by making an attempt to show that anybody might have entered the complainant’s room in 1988.

Fortin used a map of the campus on the Royal Military College Saint-Jean in Quebec to argue that, because the doorways have been unlocked to help evacuation within the occasion of a fireplace, others had entry to the complainant’s room on the time of the alleged assault.

A lady whose id is protected beneath a court-ordered publication ban testified final month that, “definitely,” she acknowledged Fortin because the individual who attacked her greater than 30 years in the past. The lady testified that she awakened in her mattress within the barracks to search out Fortin holding her hand on his genitals and utilizing it to masturbate.

Fortin, the previous head of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine marketing campaign, has maintained his innocence. He claims he by no means had any bodily contact with the complainant. His lawyer has argued throughout the felony trial that the girl incorrectly recognized him because the perpetrator. 

On Monday, Fortin described photographs from an RMC yearbook from that period. He instructed the presiding choose that one other cadet had the identical final title and so they each glided by the nickname “Fort.”

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, proper, and his spouse Madeleine Collin, centre, wait for the doorways of an elevator to shut at a Gatineau, Que. courthouse on Monday. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press)

The complainant has described the alleged assault in her testimony, telling Fortin’s trial she was “horrified” and pushed Fortin away and that Fortin then pulled up his pants and left her room. The complainant stated she recognized her attacker as Fortin.

Fortin was charged in 2021 with sexual assault in relation to that alleged incident in 1988. At the time, Fortin was a cadet on the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

He opted for a trial with out a jury. He testified in September that everybody needed to sleep with their bed room doorways unlocked within the barracks for fireplace security causes and that he by no means entered the girl’s room.

Fortin appeared Monday within the Quebec civilian courthouse wearing his uniform and sporting his military medals, regardless of controversy over his determination to put on the outfit to civilian court docket.

WATCH/ Military commander criticized for sporting full uniform and medals to civilian trial

Military commander criticized for sporting full uniform to civilian trial

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin drew criticism after sporting his full military uniform, together with 10 medals, whereas on trial in civilian court docket for sexual assault.

Military sexual trauma survivors stated final month that it was triggering to see Fortin in his uniform and referred to as it an act of intimidation in opposition to the complainant.

In response, the military stated it could determine whether or not members accused of crimes can put on uniforms in civilian court docket. 

The Canadian Armed Forces is experiencing a sexual misconduct disaster. Fortin is one in every of a number of present and former senior Canadian military leaders who have been investigated, criminally charged or pressured into retirement since 2021 from a few of the most prestigious posts within the defence institution.

Support is obtainable for anybody who has been sexually assaulted. You can entry disaster strains and native help providers by way of this Government of Canada web site or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you are in fast hazard, or concern for your security or that of others round you, please name 911. 


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