Wife of Canadian senator released, cannot contact husband
Published Monday, August 27, 2012 6:19AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 27, 2012 5:04PM EDT
The wife of a Canadian senator was released following an appearance in a Saskatoon court on Monday after she was charged with causing a disturbance on a plane.
Maygan Sensenberger is also accused of uttering threats against her husband, who is 46 years her senior.
Sensenberger appeared in court on the one-year anniversary of her marriage to Sen. Rod Zimmer after spending the weekend in custody. The 23-year-old faces charges of endangering the safety of the aircraft and causing a disturbance following an incident that occurred on an Air Canada flight from Ottawa to Saskatoon on Thursday.
A judge released Sensenberger on Monday on the condition that she does not have any contact with her 69-year-old husband.
Sensenberger is also prohibited from drinking alcohol and being in a licensed establishment as part of her release.
“Of course this is their first anniversary, probably not the way they thought they’d be spending it,” CTV News Channel’s Mercedes Stephenson said on Monday.
Zimmer was present during the bail hearing, but he did not speak to the media.
CTV Saskatoon’s Jennifer Jellicoe said many in court were surprised that Sensenberger was represented by legal aid.
“She’s been in jail for four nights and still had no lawyer,” Jellicoe told CTV News Channel. “She appeared quite scared.”
Jellicoe added that Zimmer seemed very uncertain of the court process.
“He was asking people in the hallway, ‘are you a lawyer?’”
According to Jellicoe, Zimmer was hoping to see his wife following the court appearance.
“I understand he was waiting in the hall afterwards and one of the deputy sheriffs said, ‘Sir you’re not allowed to have contact with her, you’ll have to leave.’”
Sensenberger is scheduled to appear in a domestic violence court on Tuesday.
There are conflicting reports as to what happened on the flight.
Initially it was reported Sensenberger was yelling at her husband. However, witnesses on the plane said that Sensenberger was concerned about Zimmer’s health and she was yelling at people around her to help.
Former ambulance attendant Scott Wright was on the flight last Thursday and said that Sensenberger was emotionally distraught by her husband’s condition.
"I never at any time felt threatened," Wright told The Canadian Press. "And all of the frustration she expressed while I was there was targeted around the medical condition and the health of her husband."
Wright said he stepped in to help Zimmer when he started experiencing a medical issues and Sensenberger was continually asking about her husband’s condition.
“She was continuing to say 'What's happening? Is he OK? Tell me he's going to be OK. Why aren't you doing more? Why aren't you doing something?"' Wright said.
"She did pause to yell at one or two of the other passengers who were peering over or trying to see what was going on," he continued. "There was the odd profanity offered."
Air Canada asked police to be present when the plane landed.
Initial reports suggest that Zimmer was feeling tightness in his chest during the flight and he was given oxygen. Earlier last week the Manitoba senator experienced medical difficulties after he was severely stung by hornets.
Zimmer and Sensenberger’s marriage last summer raised a few eyebrows with their 40-plus-year age difference.
Wright said he’s surprised to see the amount of attention the case has garnered.
"In my mind, this was someone who was critically concerned about the welfare of her husband and the well-being of his medical condition,” he said. “I've seen a number of reports that have touched on things like age and status that have absolutely nothing to do with what's happened here."