Gilbert Rozon sex crime hearing draws protesters but accused doesn't show
Demonstrators mark International Women's Day in front of the courthouse to protest against Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon, who is charged with sex related crimes, Friday, March 8, 2019 in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 8, 2019 12:55PM EST
MONTREAL - Protesters gathered outside the Montreal courthouse today for a scheduled appearance by Gilbert Rozon on sex crime charges, but the Just for Laughs founder never showed, choosing to be represented by his lawyer.
A judge granted a request by Rozon's lawyer Pierre Poupart that the case be put off until April 25.
With the court date coinciding with International Women's Day, a few dozen people protested outside. Dominique Daigneault, a union president, said the protest was a reminder that full equality of the sexes has not been reached and that women are still victims of violence.
Rozon, 64, was charged in December with rape and indecent assault. The allegations come from a single female complainant and date back to 1979.
Rozon is also facing a $10-million class-action lawsuit alleging that he abused at least 20 women between 1982 and 2016. Last August, the Quebec Court of Appeal allowed Rozon to appeal the decision authorizing the lawsuit. The appeal has not yet been heard.
Rozon, who denies any wrongdoing, stepped down as president of Just For Laughs last year, and an investor group bought the company in the spring.