Montreal

Blog inciting hatred against women ruled legal

A Montreal judge says that although she believes Jean-Claude Rochefort's blog incites hatred against women, the law does not make that a crime.

A Montreal judge says that although she believes Jean-Claude Rochefort's blog incites hatred against women, the law does not make that a crime.

The ruling means there'll be no charge of inciting hatred for the website Rochefort created dedicated to Marc Lépine, who murdered 14 women at Montreal's École Polytechnique in 1989.

The site refers to Lepine as "Saint Marc." One image shows the Montreal university with the caption "where it all started."

Another caption says, "where it could happen again, with the right people and the right equipment."

Rochefort has said his website is "humorous," and that feminists made a hero out of the Polytechnique shooter by constantly talking about the tragedy.

Judge Hélène Morin said Wednesday that after reading more than 100 pages of entries to the blog, it's clear it incites hatred against women.

However, the judge said Parliament specifically intended the charge of incitement of hatred to protect minorities, which does not include women.

As a result, there is no crime in the Criminal Code of inciting hatred specifically against women, she said.

"Her conclusion is she doesn't have the choice.… She can't do it," said defence attorney Guillaume Langlois.

Rochefort still faces harassment charges and will remain behind bars until his next court appearance May 3.

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