No charges against former Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Paradis after complaint of sexual nature
Quebec Crown prosecutor's office says it is 'not reasonably convinced' following results of investigation
Pierre Paradis, a Quebec MNA and former cabinet minister, will not be charged following a provincial police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, Crown prosecutors announced Monday.
In a statement, the Crown said after examining the results of the Sûreté du Québec probe, it will not lay charges because it is "not reasonably convinced" it can prove Paradis's guilt.
Paradis, who represents the Eastern Townships riding of Brome-Missisquoi and was minister of agriculture and fisheries, was stripped of his cabinet portfolio and booted from the Liberal caucus in late January.
The decision came after Premier Philippe Couillard learned police were investigating a complaint of a sexual nature made by someone who was a former employee of Paradis's.
The Crown said that prosecutors met with the complainant to explain their reasoning before making the announcement.
No return to caucus, yet
Louisette Hébert, a spokesperson for Paradis, told Radio-Canada that the Quebec MNA was "happy and relieved" that the Crown will not be laying charges.
She added that she was not sure if he would ask to rejoin the Liberal caucus. Couillard, for his part, said he won't comment on the Crown's decision until he speaks with his caucus.
Paradis, 66, has represented the riding of Brome-Missisquoi as a Liberal MNA since 1980.
He's currently listed an independent but hasn't been able to carry out many of his duties since suffering a concussion while horseback riding earlier this year.
"I don't know if he wants to return to the National Assembly," Hébert said.
With files from Radio-Canada