Detective at obscenity trial testifies gory images looked fake

A Montreal detective testifying at a gore filmmaker's trial said she believed the images he created displayed simulated violence from the first time she saw them.

Rémy Couture is charged with corrupting morals

Jury must decide if photos taken down from Rémy Couture's gore website break Canada's obscenity law. 2:01

A Montreal detective testifying at a gore filmmaker's trial told jurors today she did not believe the images on his website were real.

Det.-Sgt. Christina Vlachos said the depravity of the website was the first thing noticed by the morality squad.

The team was investigating Rémy Couture, 35, after receiving complaints about the contents of his web page.

Couture, a special effects artist, was arrested and charged after a man from Austria stumbled upon his website and alerted authorities.

One of the films showed a muscular, tattooed man in a mask, appearing to eat a victim's intestines. In another, a barely dressed, blood-drenched woman was strapped to a bed with a large crucifix lying across her.

A pathologist working for Interpol in Austria examined the realistic, gruesome images and said he could not rule out the possibility that they depicted an actual murder or rape.

The Montreal detective said she and her colleague at Interpol Canada saw the images differently. She told jurors today she did not believe they showed actual acts of violence.

Couture said the images and video were staged scenes.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2010.

Jurors will decide if material is obscene

Under the Criminal Code, it is illegal to publish or distribute materials that combine sex with horror, cruelty or violence. The photographs deemed offensive have been taken down from Couture's website.

Couture was charged with possession, production and circulation of obscene materials.

The prosecution said the pictures on Couture's website are a threat to the fundamental values of Canadian society.

Dozens of protesters attended a court hearing in 2010 and said his art should be protected by freedom of expression.

This is what his lawyers, Véronique Robert and Robert Doré, will try to prove in court.

The jury, made up of seven women and five men, was selected Monday. Most of the candidates said they felt they are able to watch horror film excerpts entered as evidence.

The prosecutors said jurors will have to decide whether the photos are obscene or not and if they represent a risk to people who are vulnerable and could act out after seeing them.

Crown prosecutors Geneviève Dagenais and Michel Pennou are expected to introduce five witnesses over the next two weeks.

Three police officers will testify about what they found on the internet while investigating Couture.

A court-appointed psychiatrist will take the stand, followed by a psychologist who specializes in the study of sexual delinquents and the effect of violent images on those people.