Judge to deliver verdict April 1
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | 5:49 PM AT
The trial of Catholic priest Charles Picot wrapped up in Campbellton provincial court Tuesday with Crown and defence lawyers presenting their final arguments.
Picot is charged with indecent assault against a teenage boy in the late 1970s.
Judge Ronald LeBlanc granted a request by the prosecution to expand the timeframe of the alleged offence.
The alleged victim, Derek Lapointe, 46, originally said the assault happened in 1978. But the charge now says it could have happened any time during Picot’s posting in Dalhousie — between 1975 and 1978.
LeBlanc said he will deliver his verdict on April 1 after reviewing the testimony of the alleged victim and the accused.
Lapointe, who waived his right to have his name protected by a publication ban, testified that Picot committed the indecent act in the fall of 1978 when he invited him to the rectory to listen to the Saturday Night Fever album.
That prompted the lawyer for the defence to say Picot had an alibi — he was studying at the University of Ottawa at the time. Lapointe was 13 years old and in Grade 9 when the alleged assault happened.
LeBlanc refused a request by the Crown prosecutor to bring Lapointe back to correct his mistake. Lapointe said he wanted to change his testimony to say the facts occurred in 1977 instead of 1978.
Later when Picot testified, he denied ever committing an indecent act against Lapointe.
The Crown then asked the judge to change the dates on the original charge from sometime in 1978 to including both 1977 and 1978.
Picot is no longer practising as a priest.
The judge allowed the change in date. That’s good news!
So, Derek, it’s almost over. Now the wait for the verdict.
I imagine you will be making the long drive home soon. And with much on your mind. Drive carefully. Safe journey.
Let’s pray that justice is done.