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Monday, February 6, 2023

Eric Salvail’s trial opens Monday

The trial for sexual assault of ousted host Éric Salvail will open Monday morning at the Montreal courthouse. 

Four days of hearings have been scheduled to hear the case of the former Quebec television star. 

Salvail had originally planned to have a trial before a judge and jury, but he changed his mind last November, now requesting that only a magistrate of the Court of Quebec decide on his guilt or innocence. 

It is, therefore, Judge Alexandre Dalmau who will preside over the trial of the 50-year-old ex-host. 

The latter is charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, and harassment against another man. 

The complainant is Donald Duguay, now 44 years old. 

According to the arrest warrant, the alleged crimes date back to 1993, when the two men were young adults. 

The charges against Salvail, however, were only laid a year ago. 


In the fall of 2017, in the wake of the #MeAussi movement, the famous host was the subject of a series of reports from La Presse which alleged allegations of sexual misconduct against him. 

Salvail has since disappeared from the television landscape. 

The complaint made by Donald Duguay is, however, the only one that has been accepted by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions. 

Eric Salvail had to appear in court for the first time last fall, as part of his preliminary investigation. 

This is a procedure that lawyers use to test the evidence against the accused. 

The complainant and four other persons then testified before Judge Pierre E. Labelle, at the Gouin Judicial Center, in Montreal. 

Stoic and serious

During these two days of hearings, the resident of the South Shore was stoic and very serious, which contrasted with the charismatic and exuberant character that the public knew on the small screen. 

After hearing the testimony, the content of which is currently subject to a publication ban, the magistrate considered that the evidence was sufficient for Salvail to stand trial. 

The Crown is represented by Me Amelie Rivard while Me Michel Massicotte defends the accused. 

Some dates

April 1, 1993: alleged assault  

Fall 2017: Wave of allegations of sexual misconduct against Salvail 

January 15, 2019: arrest warrant issued against the former host 

February 15, 2019: first appearance. Salvail was absent. 

September 30 and October 1, 2019: a preliminary investigation. Salvail was present. 

November 4, 2019: choice of trial before a judge alone 

February 17 to 20, 2020: trial of the fallen speedboat 

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