‘New information’ delays Sudbury lawyer’s sex trial

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will now examine the disclosure

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For the second day in a row, the sex trial of a Sudbury lawyer has been postponed.

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On Friday, Stephen Proudlove, attorney for defendant Adam Castonguay, was ill, preventing the second day of the trial from beginning.

On Monday, the trial was adjourned because “new information became available,” Assistant QC David Kirk told Judge Lori Thomas. “I have to check it out. It’s not like half an hour or more. I haven’t seen the footage. I know broadly what it is.”

Kirk said it was best not to rush things. He said a delay would give the Crown and the Defense a chance to consider the new disclosure.

“Because there are new disclosures, they need to be reviewed by both the Crown and the defense,” Justice Thomas told more than a dozen in the courtroom. “You must check it out. You must ensure that no personal information is shared.

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“Anything that is in the hands of the police is ultimately in the hands of the Crown. If it’s in the hands of the Crown, it’s in the hands of the Defense.”

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Thomas said the delay “is what it is and it’s important that we make sure everything gets done. I don’t know what the disclosure is and if it actually came out as evidence at trial.”

As a result, the trial will resume on January 13. The case will also appear before the Ontario Court of Appeals for a hearing on Jan. 4, and additional days could be added to what is expected to be a four-day trial.

Proudlove, the defense attorney, said it was “a terrible thing” to have to postpone the trial again but it was best to hold off on the trial.

“It’s unfortunate, but certainly necessary,” he told Thomas.

Castonguay, 29, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, choking by sexual assault and assault causing physical harm.

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The opening day of the trial last week focused on the alleged Castonguay victim. A publication ban is in place to protect the woman’s identity and evidence that would identify her.

The woman testified that she and Castonguay attended a Christmas party on December 11 and 12, 2020 and both drank.

She claimed that while they were alone on separate occasions that evening, Castonguay gave her two unwanted kisses, unbuttoned and zipped down her jeans multiple times, simulated oral sex over her jeans, and molested her vaginally and anally.

She said he also choked her so that she passed out while he held her and threw her against a couch, causing the back of her head to bang hard against the armrest of a couch.

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The woman testified that a visit to the hospital a few days later found that she had suffered a concussion. Photos were also taken of various spots and bruises on the woman’s body.

The woman said while the concussion lasted about a week, the aftermath was migraines and blurred vision, which required visual therapy sessions. She also said she suffered from vaginal and anal pain for about a week.

When asked about her alcohol consumption at the party, the woman said, “I was drunk but I still functioned well.”

Regarding the level of Castonguay’s intoxication, the woman said, “He was sloppily drunk.”

Greater Sudbury Police have charged Castonguay after opening an investigation in January 2021.

In a second case, he was also charged with assault and violent imprisonment, but that was resolved when he entered into a year-long common law peace bond at Sudbury Courthouse.

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In return, the Crown dropped the charges. Among the terms of the peace deal were that Castonguay had no contact with the applicant in the case, stayed away from work and kept calm and behaved decently.

On June 28, 2021, a Law Society of Ontario arbitration panel ruled that Castonguay could continue to practice law for the time being.

There is a ban on publishing evidence and commenting on evidence made during the virtual hearing that took place on June 21-22.

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The panel has imposed several restrictions on Castonguay, including that he only visits his office on Saturdays, that he continue to comply with the terms of his January 20 commitment to his pending criminal charges, and that he abide by the terms of the Peace Covenant.

According to his online bio, Castonguay is a graduate of Laurentian University and the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. In 2018 he was admitted to the bar.

Castonguay was also named in a $13 million civil lawsuit that the alleged victim of the criminal case has now filed in court.

Attorney Paul Cassan filed the lawsuit at the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse on December 20, 2021.

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Twitter: @Harold Carmichae