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Crown closes case in sexual assault trial

The Crown called former Ottawa University hockey team head coach as its last witness in the sexual assault trial against two former Gee Gees players.
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David Foucher and Guillaume Donovan
Guillaume Donovan (left) and David Foucher (right) leave the Thunder Bay Courthouse following the second day of their trial to answer to charges of sexual assault.

THUNDER BAY - After eight days of testimony, the Crown wrapped up its case against two former Ottawa University hockey players accused of sexual assault.

The court heard from five Crown witnesses over the course of the first eight days of the Guillaume Donovan and David Foucher trial, who are each accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old Thunder Bay woman at a local hotel on the night of Feb. 2, 2014.

Witnesses called to testify included the complainant, her friend, two former Ottawa Gee Gees players, and finally on Wednesday, the head coach.

Réal Paiement was the head coach of the Ottawa team when they were in Thunder Bay to play a pair of games against the Lakehead University Thunderwolves.

Paiement was fired from his position as head coach and the Ottawa University hockey program was suspended in the wake of the sexual assault allegations levelled against the two accused.

The former coach testified that he met one-on-one with several players involved in the incident inside the hotel room shared by Donovan and teammate Taylor Collins. During the interviews, he took notes but did not record the conversations.

Information from those notes was later included in a report prepared by the school. Referring several times to those notes, the coach testified that he was presented with a version of the events that suggested there was a consensual threesome between the complainant, Collins and Donovan.

Paiement ultimately decided not to go to the police but instead handle the matter internally. During his testimony, the coach testified that Foucher told him the events of the night in question are "a blank" from when the players returned to the hotel from a north side bar to when he woke up the next morning.

Though there was some confusion over whether Foucher actually said "a blank" or "fuzzy" and if that was perhaps lost in translation when Paiement transcribed his notes from French to English for the sake of the school's report.

Defense attorneys, Christian Deslauriers and Celina St. Francois, who are representing Donovan and Foucher respectively, have still not decided whether they will call any witnesses in the trial, including the two accused. The defense will make the determination on Thursday.

If no witnesses are called, the trial will proceed directly to closing arguments.

(TBT News)