Former Gee-Gees coach told sex was consensual, trial hears

The trial of two former University of Ottawa hockey players entered into its eighth day Wednesday, with the team's former coach taking the stand.

WARNING: This story includes graphic details some readers may find disturbing

Former University of Ottawa Gee-Gees hockey players Guillaume Donovan, left, and David Foucher, right, are attending their trial for sexual assault in Thunder Bay. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

WARNING: This story includes graphic details some readers may find disturbing.

Former University of Ottawa coach Real Paiement, fired when allegations of sexual assault against two of his players came to light in 2014, told court Wednesday that during his own investigation into the matter he was told the complainant had agreed to a threesome.

Guillaume Donovan and David Foucher are facing sexual assault charges in relation to an alleged incident at a Thunder Bay hotel. They were in town with the University of Ottawa hockey team, the Gee-Gees, at the time.

The trial is taking place in Thunder Bay, but Paiement testified via video link from the Ottawa courthouse.

He was asked about the content of a report he wrote called "Procedures Following the Incidents of February 1-2 in Thunder Bay."

Testifying in French, the former Gee-Gees coach said he met twice with players on Feb. 2 in the hours after a friend of the complainant informed him of the allegations, once in the West Arthur Street hotel where the team was staying and again when they returned to the University of Ottawa.

Coach interviewed players

Paiement said he interviewed players who were directly and indirectly involved both with the complaint from the woman, and with a teammate who had been hospitalized after drinking too much.

His interviewees included Donovan's roommate who was the trial's first witness, Paiement told court.

Donovan's roommate told Paiement that while he was having sex with the woman, he asked her if she would be OK with Donovan joining in. Donovan's roommate said the woman agreed, Paiement confirmed during cross-examination.

Donovan's lawyer, Christian Deslauriers, asked Paiement what he decided to do with the information he gathered through the interviews, and with his final report. The coach said he decided not to involve police, and to deal with the issue internally.

Spoke to Foucher Feb. 4

Crown lawyer Marc Huneault asked Paiement how soon after the events he spoke to Foucher, who was the Gee-Gees captain at the time.

Paiement said he didn't recall talking to Foucher about the incident at the hotel in Thunder Bay, on the bus to the airport, on the plane, during a connection in Toronto or at any point before he called Foucher into his office on Feb. 4.

In his report, Paiement said Foucher told him he had a "blank" in his memory after he returned to the hotel from the bar.​

Paiement was the fifth and final witness for the Crown. The former coach was advised the defence may also call him as a witness.

Teammate concludes testimony

Earlier Wedneday morning, former teammate Mathieu Leduc, who testified in French, said that, in his opinion, he did not see a sexual assault take place on the night in question.

He said he took brief looks into the hotel room Guillaume Donovan shared with another Gee-Gees player on the Thunder Bay trip during the night the team was celebrating a win.

Leduc was in a hotel room adjoining Donovan's room during the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 2014.

Leduc said one of the times he looked through the door connecting the rooms he saw Donovan, his roommate and the woman Donovan's roommate had previously been having sex with, all engaged in some kind of sexual act.

No cries for help

He said he couldn't make out the details but saw the two players around the woman. During cross-examination, Donovan's lawyer Christian Deslauriers asked if he heard any signs of distress in the room.

"I didn't hear cries for help or someone in pain," Leduc said in French. Instead, he said he heard "sounds of pleasure" from the woman.

Leduc said he wouldn't have hesitated to stop Donovan if he suspected something was amiss, but he didn't think there was anything wrong at the time.

The Gee-Gees players were "pretty far along" that night and had been drinking heavily, Leduc said.

In her testimony late last week, the complainant said she was having consensual sex with Donovan's roommate when it was interrupted and two men forced themselves on her.

In court on Tuesday, several witnesses took the stand and were questioned by the Crown and defence lawyers. This included the young woman's friend who picked her up from the hotel that night. She testified the complainant appeared distressed when she got in the car. 

The identity of the complainant is protected by a publication ban, which also prevents CBC News from naming some of the witnesses. 

CBC Ottawa's Matthew Kupfer is in Thunder Bay covering the trial. You can review his live tweets here