September 19, 2018

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Defence ponders next step in child sex-assault case

The prosecution's case against a Lorette teacher accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl wrapped up Wednesday. Now, the accused and his defence lawyer are to decide whether he'll take the stand.

Remi Dallaire, 34, has pleaded not guilty to four charges stemming from alleged sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl from June to mid-July 2016 while he was a teacher at École Lagimodière. The girl, now 10, testified Dallaire repeatedly sexually assaulted her on several occasions while they were alone.

Defence lawyer Matt Gould said Wednesday he needed more time to discuss with Dallaire whether he will testify Thursday. If he does not testify, the defence is not expected to put forward any additional evidence and the lawyers will make their closing arguments in front of Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ken Champagne.

Champagne noted Wednesday that Dallaire has been an "active" participant in the court process against him. During the first two days of the trial, throughout testimonies from the girl and her mother, Dallaire took notes and whispered to his lawyer, prompting Gould to ask the witnesses additional questions.

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The prosecution's case against a Lorette teacher accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl wrapped up Wednesday. Now, the accused and his defence lawyer are to decide whether he'll take the stand.

Remi Dallaire, 34, has pleaded not guilty to four charges stemming from alleged sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl from June to mid-July 2016 while he was a teacher at École Lagimodière. The girl, now 10, testified Dallaire repeatedly sexually assaulted her on several occasions while they were alone.

Defence lawyer Matt Gould said Wednesday he needed more time to discuss with Dallaire whether he will testify Thursday. If he does not testify, the defence is not expected to put forward any additional evidence and the lawyers will make their closing arguments in front of Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ken Champagne.

Champagne noted Wednesday that Dallaire has been an "active" participant in the court process against him. During the first two days of the trial, throughout testimonies from the girl and her mother, Dallaire took notes and whispered to his lawyer, prompting Gould to ask the witnesses additional questions.

The Crown called four witnesses to testify: the 10-year-old girl, her mother, and two RCMP officers — one who interviewed the victim in July 2016, and one who was involved in searching Dallaire's home after police got a warrant to do so.

The police investigation began after girl told her mother Dallaire had touched her inappropriately.

During her interview with police and her testimony in court, the girl described anal penetration. During her police interview — a video of which was played in court Tuesday — the then-eight-year-old drew a picture of a purple bottle of lubricant she said Dallaire used on her, referring to it as "slippery stuff." Police found an empty, purple packaging box for lubricant in a laptop bag when they searched Dallaire's belongings.

Dallaire became friends with the girl's mother after she moved in to the apartment across the hall from him in June 2016. Over the next six weeks, he regularly watched her daughter and would walk her to and from school every morning and spend time with her while her mother was at work, including sleepovers.

The defence has suggested the girl's mother encouraged her daughter to come forward with false allegations because she was angry Dallaire didn't want a romantic relationship with her. The mother denied that suggestion when she testified earlier this week.

katie.may@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @thatkatiemay

Katie May

Katie May
Justice reporter

Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.

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