Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Two people prosecuted for revealing the identity of Harold LeBel's victim

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Former MP Harold LeBel was found guilty of sexual assault on November 23, 2022. (Photo d 'archives)

  • Julie Tremblay (View profile)Julie Tremblay

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Two people find themselves before the courts because they did not respect the publication ban order which protected the identity of the victim of the former Rimouski MP, Harold LeBel, found guilty of sexual assault in November 2022.

Monday morning, Sylvain Fortin and Stéphane Vigeant appeared at the Rimouski courthouse . They were accused of having disclosed the name of Catherine Fournier or elements allowing her to be identified during the trial last year.

Both individuals have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

They are liable to a fine of up to 50%. to $5,000 and a maximum prison sentence of two years less a day.

In an interview on Isabelle Richer's show on RDI, Catherine Fournier said she was relieved that charges were finally laid.

It sends a good message, it means that there is no impunity , that there is an article in the Criminal Code that we intend to enforce for the rights of victims.

A quote from Catherine Fournier

When her identity was revealed, Ms. Fournier recalls that she felt betrayed. She believes that breaking an order has serious consequences on the lives of victims and on their confidence in the judicial system.

The fact being able to protect one's identity is often what will convince a victim to file a complaint, she says.

During the trial of her attacker, in November 2022, she reported the breaches of the publication ban to Sûreté du Québec investigators.

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Former PQ MP and mayor of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, was the victim of sexual assault and finally chose to lift the veil on her identity, five months after the end of Harold LeBel's trial. (Archive photo)

The SQ confirms that the charges filed Monday represent the culmination of an investigation by the crimes division majors of Rimouski in relation to the Harold LeBel case.

According to the court order, the identity of the victim of Harold LeBel was to remain confidential. Five months after the trial, Catherine Fournier, however, decided herself to lift the veil on her identity and tell her story.

With the collaboration of Marie-Christine Rioux and Marthieu Berger

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