Last Updated: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | 1:49 PM AT
There was a major twist Tuesday in the case of a former priest on trial for indecent assault in Campbellton, N.B.
The Crown asked to reopen its case against Charles Picot because his accuser now says he got his facts wrong.
The Crown’s only witness testified Monday the indecent assault occurred in the fall of 1978.
Derek Lapointe was 13 years old and in Grade 9.
Lapointe, 46, waived his right to have his name protected by a publication ban. He testified that Picot invited him to the rectory to listen to the Saturday Night Fever album.Tuesday, the Crown said Lapointe made a mistake and the offence actually happened a year earlier in 1977.
The Crown sought permission to reopen its case and change Lapointe’s testimony, but the defence objected because the accused has an alibi for the fall of 1978. Picot was a student at the University of Ottawa.
Picot’s defence lawyer said the Crown should have done its homework before laying the charges, especially since it knew Lapointe had memory problems.
Lapointe admitted under cross-examination Monday that drug and alcohol abuse had affected his memory.
The defence noted two police forces investigated the case and a simple call to the high school Lapointe attended would have settled what year he was in Grade 9.
The judge refused to allow the Crown to reopen its case.
Last spring, Picot was found not guilty on a charge of indecent assault involving a 13-year-old boy in Dalhousie.
Picot is no longer a practising priest.