New Brunswick

Crown wraps its case in Moncton kidnapping trial

The Crown prosecutor in the kidnapping and sexual assault trial of Romeo Cormier is set to wrap up its case in Moncton, N.B., with its final two witnesses.

Defence says Romeo Cormier may testify in Moncton, N.B., next week

The daughter of an alleged kidnapping victim, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, said the family is relieved her mother has finished testifying at the trial of Romeo Cormier. (CBC)

The Crown prosecutor in the kidnapping and sexual assault trial of Romeo Cormier wrapped up its case Friday in Moncton, N.B., with its final two witnesses.

Cormier, 63, is accused of kidnapping a woman from a downtown Moncton mall, and taking her to a nearby rooming house, and holding her for 26 days.

Cormier's neighbour, Brian Caine, testified on Friday morning.

He lived in the room across the hall from Cormier and said the accused man's door was always shut between Feb. 26 and March 24, 2010.

Caine also said Cormier was playing loud music during that time — something he'd never heard him do before.

The other witness could not appear in person due to her mental illness, according to a letter from her psychiatrist.

In a written statement, Nora Thompson, who also lived in the basement of the rooming house, talked about what happened the day the woman escaped.

She said Cormier had gone to the food bank around noon and came back sometime after 12:30 p.m.

She said he was very upset to see the door to his room open.

Thompson said Cormier told her he had a confession to make, that he had a girl over and now she was gone.

She said Cormier told her it was a girl he knew from Highfield Square and now she was going to the police to rat him out.

Thompson also said at one point before the woman left, Cormier's door was open and she heard a woman's voice. She said the woman did not sound afraid.

Way with women

Thompson described Cormier as a nice guy who has a way with women.

The woman, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, recounted in the Court of Queen's Bench Thursday how she was abducted by knifepoint, and was the victim of death threats and repeated sexual assaults.

The woman told the court how Cormier called himself the "devil" and how she finally freed herself after 26 days by wiggling free from poorly bound hand and leg ties, rushing out to the street and flagging down a passing Purolator truck.

The woman was cross-examined for nearly an hour on Thursday by Robert Rideout, Cormier's lawyer.
Romeo Cormier, 63, is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Moncton, N.B., woman last year. (CBC)

The defence asked the woman to explain why she didn't try to escape, or use a knife or hammer on Cormier — both were in his room.

She told the court that she would have been overpowered by the larger Cormier.

The woman's daughter said the family is proud of how she handled herself on the stand.

"It's no surprise to me that she did an absolutely fantastic job," the daughter said outside court.

"She knew she had an opportunity to tell her story, to get the details out there so people understood why she made the decisions she did make and why she took that opportunity to get out. And I think it's quite clear that's the reason she's alive today."

The woman's family is glad the trial is moving along quickly. It originally was expected to last 25 days.

Rideout said in court on Thursday that Cormier may testify next week.

The defence earlier said it hadn't planned to call any of its own witnesses.

The defence will begin presenting its case on Monday.

Cormier is facing six charges:

  • Kidnapping.
  • Unlawful confinement.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Theft of money using violence.
  • Assault with a weapon.
  • Uttering threats.