Trial begins for Quebec gory filmmaker accused of corrupting morals
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:38AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 12:30PM EST
The trial of a Quebec filmmaker whose extremely gory images led to his arrest on obscenity charges three years ago got underway in Montreal Tuesday.
Remy Couture faces three charges, including corrupting morals and distributing obscene material, in connection with short films he posted to his website, InnerDepravity.com. The sexually explicit horror films included scenes of necrophilia and simulated rape.
On Tuesday, court heard that Austrian police first tipped off Interpol about the material in 2006. The international agency then referred the case to Montreal police.
Couture was arrested in 2009. Prosecutors said Couture was charged due to the sexually charged nature of the videos.
The videos were realistic enough that a pathologist could not confirm whether an actual homicide had taken place.
The prosecution contends the videos exploit sexuality with violence and cruelty, which falls within the criminal code definition of obscenity.
“You have 12 members of the jury whose job will be to determine what constitutes obscenity in Canada,” CTV Montreal’s Stephane Giroux explained, reporting from the courthouse.“It’s a very subjective concept to determine what’s acceptable for one and not acceptable for somebody else. The defence, of course, is claiming freedom of expression, especially freedom of artistic creation.”
No matter the outcome of the trial, appeals on the freedom of expression issue could take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
The prosecution intends to call five witnesses at the trial, as well as show videos and related photographs in court. The jury is made up of seven women and five men.
Prosecution witnesses include a psychiatrist and a psychologist, who will explain how certain material may provoke antisocial behaviour, or worse.
Back when he was charged, Couture called the case “a waste of time for me, and for society.”
"It's a waste of money, too, because I'm not a criminal. I have no record. I'm a special-effects artist,” he said."I find this a bit of an embarrassment for Quebec, that this time wouldn't be spent on real cases. But they're going ahead."
At the time, he said his only crime was using props and make-up to tell disturbing stories.
With files from The Canadian Press