Brazeau’s executive assistant testifies at his criminal trial

GATINEAU, Que. — The woman who was allegedly assaulted by Patrick Brazeau in 2013 apologized to him and hugged him a year earlier after a dispute between the two, the suspended senator’s executive assistant testified Tuesday.

Lorraine Rochon said Brazeau called her at about 11 p.m. one night in February 2012 and asked her to come to a residence to intervene in what she called a “quarrel.”

Rochon told Brazeau’s trial on assault and sexual assault charges that, after a two-hour discussion, the woman apologized for hitting him and then embraced him.

Brazeau, who was kicked out of the Conservative caucus shortly after his February 2013 arrest, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The female complainant, whose identity is subject to a publication ban, has alleged that Brazeau pushed her down some stairs, choked her, hit her head against a wall and a staircase, spat on her and sexually assaulted her.

Defence lawyer Gerard Larocque has suggested the woman started the physical confrontation that led to Brazeau’s arrest — accusing her of hitting his client with her hand and a bra.

Larocque sharpened his efforts last week to shred her credibility by stating she struck Brazeau a year before the encounter that prompted his client’s arrest.

The woman confirmed to the court last week that she and Brazeau met with police following an incident in February 2012, but she flatly denied hitting him.

The trial is taking place in the western Quebec community of Gatineau before a judge alone.

Brazeau is expected to eventually testify in his own defence.

He is scheduled to stand trial next March, before a judge alone, on charges of fraud and breach of trust in connection with his Senate expense claims. Brazeau has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

And he faces charges related to allegedly being behind the wheel of a car while impaired in October and for possessing a weapon in breach of his bail conditions. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

He was also arrested in April 2014 and charged with assault, possession of cocaine, uttering threats and breaching bail conditions. His arrest followed an alleged altercation involving a man and a woman at a home in Gatineau.

Brazeau also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The Canadian Press