A man from Sainte-Angèle-de-Mérici, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, is back in court for a new trial after being convicted in 2018 for sex crimes against minors.
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The Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Roland Robitaille, who had been sentenced two years ago to 63 months in penitentiary, because it held that he had not been entitled to a fair and equitable trial, and that several errors of law and of fact had been made.
This new trial began Monday afternoon at the Rimouski courthouse. As part of this second trial, Roland Robitaille, 62, must again face several charges, including sexual assault, sexual touching of a minor and incitement to contact, as well as indecent assault.
The crimes with which he is accused were allegedly committed between 1975 and 2010 in Sainte-Angèle-de-Mérici and Saint-Joseph-de-Lepage. Roland Robitaille would have made three victims, young girls aged between 5 and 17 years at the time of the facts. An order prohibits us from identifying them as well as their links with the accused.
A first alleged victim testified, a woman who is now 23 but who was 11 and 12 at the time of the alleged crimes. She claimed that the first time Roland Robitaille sexually assaulted her was in grade six. He allegedly put a finger in her genitals while she was sleeping. She claimed to have felt oppressed, unable to move and speak. “I froze,” she said in court. During the assault, Robitaille allegedly told her to remain silent.
In cross-examination, defense attorney Yves Desaulniers tried emphatically to point out inconsistencies in the woman’s testimony.
The testimony of a second alleged victim began on Tuesday. The latter was between 5 and 17 years old when she was allegedly assaulted by the accused. Events that would have occurred between 2001 and 2010.
The trial by judge alone is to continue throughout the week.