Montreal

Stéphanie Raymond's military sexual assault case can now be appealed

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling will allow the defence minister to appeal in the case of warrant officer André Gagnon who was acquitted of sexually assaulting then-corporal Stéphanie Raymond.

WO André Gagnon was acquitted of sexually assaulting then-corporal Stéphanie Raymond in 2011

Warrant Officer André Gagnon pictured at court martial proceedings in the past, plead guilty to sexual assault involving a subordinate in 2011. (Radio-Canada)

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling will allow the defence minister to appeal in the case of a Canadian soldier acquitted of sexually assaulting a female subordinate.

The court ruled unanimously that the country's National Defence Act, which governs the military justice system, is constitutional.

The decision stems from two sexual assault cases involving soldiers.

In one, warrant officer André Gagnon was found not guilty in 2014 of sexually assaulting then-corporal Stéphanie Raymond in December 2011 at an armoury near Quebec City.
Stéphanie Raymond alleged she was raped by Gagnon and then fired from the army in 2013 for reporting it. (Radio-Canada)

The Crown argued at Gagnon's court martial that Raymond was in a position of vulnerability and had been forced to submit to his sexual advances after a party.

Gagnon's lawyers said the sex was consensual.

The Defence Department appealed the not-guilty verdict and requested a new trial.

Gagnon then submitted a motion to have the appeal quashed, arguing the National Defence Act is partly unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court ruling decision now sends the case to the court martial's appeals court, which will hear the appeal.

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