New information on NDP MPs' harassment allegations
Published Tuesday, November 25, 2014 5:34PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 25, 2014 10:48PM EST
New information has emerged about sexual assault allegations made by two female New Democrat MPs against a pair of male Liberal MPs.
One of the women is now speaking out about the accusations that prompted Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to suspend two sitting members of Parliament -- Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews -- from his caucus earlier in the month.
At first, one woman said she complained directly to Trudeau in October, which was followed by both women meeting confidentially with Liberal whip Judy Foote and NDP whip Nycole Turmel to go over the allegations.
Then, in November, and without revealing the nature of the allegations, Trudeau suspended the two men and barred them from running for the party in the next election, pending an investigation.
Pacetti and Andrews both deny any wrongdoing.
Though both women have chosen to remain unnamed, one decided to speak out this week, detailing what she says is an incident with Pacetti that occurred in March.
It was in a downtown Ottawa hotel room, the woman told CTV News, where Pacetti asked her to join him for a drink.
“I was sitting on the chair and he was sitting on the bed,” she said.
Pacetti allegedly told her to get on the bed with him.
“I just go into the toilet trying to think what to do or what I could do to just leave.”
She said she intended to finish her drink and leave, but wasn’t able to.
“But I did not have time because when I passed the side of the bed, he grabbed me,” she said.
The woman described what happened as “sex without explicit consent,” but wouldn’t elaborate on what exactly that allegation meant.
Sources say that in the meeting with the party whips, the woman acknowledged she did not say no to sex, and that she provided a condom.
Pacetti, in an email, continued to say he did nothing wrong.
“I am troubled that the complainant chose to air these allegations in the media,” he wrote. “Many questions remain unanswered and there is no way to evaluate the veracity of the claims being made.”
The woman said her original complaint to Trudeau was meant to be private, and that she didn’t intend to ruin the Liberal MP’s life.
“I was very shocked at the time when he decided to go public,” she said.
But she still doesn’t want to file a complaint, which makes it a difficult situation for Pacetti, according to criminal defence lawyer Boris Bytensky.
“There are no proceedings in play, no opportunity to stand up in a court room or board room and say, ‘Look, I didn't do anything wrong here,’” he said.
Details of allegations made against the second Liberal MP, Andrews, are also coming to light.
Sources told CTV another NDP MP alleged Andrews tried to force himself on her and verbally harassed her for some time after the incident.
The woman making allegations against Andrews has not spoken to media about the incident.
With a report by CTV’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Laurie Graham and files from The Canadian Press