Patrick Brazeau's lawyer attacks credibility of alleged sex assault victim

The defence in suspended senator Patrick Brazeau's assault and sexual assault case attacked the credibility of the main witness today.

Defence challenges woman about her arrival in Canada with false passport

Suspended senator Patrick Brazeau leaves the Gatineau Courthouse for a break during the second day of his trial on allegations of assault and sexual assault from an incident in 2013. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The defence in suspended senator Patrick Brazeau's assault and sexual assault case attacked the credibility of the main witness today in a Gatineau, Que., courtroom. 

A publication ban prevents the identification of the alleged victim, who testified yesterday that Brazeau struck her, grabbed her by the throat, pushed her down a flight of stairs and smashed her head against a wall. She also alleges Brazeau pulled down her pants and touched her inappropriately.

Brazeau's attorney, Gerard Larocque, went after the complainant on a number of different fronts on Tuesday.

He began with her arrival from Mexico in Montreal in 2008 with her two children. Although she is Colombian, she used fake Mexican passports to get on the plane to Canada.

Upon arriving at Canadian customs, she presented the officer with both the Mexican and Colombian passports and claimed refugee status. All of the passports were returned to her in 2013 when she received permanent resident status.

Larocque confronted her about the money she brought with her to Canada. She said she couldn't remember if it was American currency or not, but said it was hidden in her coat. Upon further questioning, she offered that it was probably American and that there was probably about $3,000.

Broken necklace

The defence asked her about a necklace that she was wearing on Feb. 7, 2013, the day of the alleged assault. She told the court that the necklace had belonged to Brazeau's mother and that he had given it to her.

She said that after he pushed her down the stairs, he had asked for it back. She tore it from her neck and threw it to the ground and told him that if he wanted it back, he could get it himself.

Larocque asked her why she had never spoken of this part of the altercation before, even though she made written and verbal statements to the police. She responded that those statements were general descriptions and that the trial was her first opportunity to go into detail about what had happened.

The defence attorney also suggested that she tore the necklace off her neck in the bedroom before the violence began. She said that was false.

Brazeau angered by news report, witness says

The alleged assault took place while Brazeau was being investigated for irregularities in his Senate expenses. 

The complainant testified Monday that Brazeau had spent the previous evening, Feb. 6, drinking martinis and watching the news on television.

That night, CTV News aired a story revealing Brazeau had used his father's address in a First Nations community to claim an aboriginal income tax exemption.

The woman told the court Brazeau received a text message that night from an individual linked to both of them that angered Brazeau and made him become aggressive.

The trial continues Wednesday with the defence continuing its cross-examination of the main witness. Wednesday is the last scheduled day of testimony but there are still five more witnesses, and the trial will likely need to be extended.