Cell block sexual assault verdict coming Apr. 3
Ottawa police Sgt. Steven Desjourdy accused of sexual assault after 2008 arrest of woman
An Ottawa police officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the cell block will learn his fate on April 3 after closing arguments wrapped up.
Sgt. Steven Desjourdy pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual assault and opted not to testify in his own defence in the case, which centres around his actions during the 2008 arrest of a woman for public intoxication.
Desjourdy used scissors to cut off the woman's shirt and bra before she was left topless in a cell for over three hours.
The woman can't be identified because of a publication ban.
Desjourdy was exonerated by an Ottawa police internal investigation but the province's Special Investigations Unit later looked at the same facts and recommended charges.
Victim was 'sexually violated,' Crown tells court
In his closing arguments Wednesday, defence lawyer Michael Edelson said the alleged victim herself never sought to bring charges of sexual assault against Desjourdy.
But Crown prosecutor Chris Webb countered that assertion, saying the young woman said in a statement she felt "sexually violated."
Webb said Tuesday there was no legitimate reason for a strip search, which he said was carried out in an unlawful and degrading manner in front of male officers and was intended to humiliate her.
He also quoted from the testimony of Desjourdy's fellow officers, who said they didn't understand why Desjourdy was cutting her clothing off.
Nothing sexual in search, defence lawyer says
Defense lawyer Michael Edelson said on Tuesday none of those fellow officers had testified there was anything sexual in Desjourdy's actions.
Edelson also argued the officers stripped Desjourdy's bra and shirt off because they were worried about her hurting herself, and Desjourdy was not responsible for the three-hour delay in giving her a replacement jumpsuit.
Edelson also told the court it would make police afraid to search anyone if Desjourdy was found guilty.
The trial had resumed Tuesday after a five-week break.