Jury selection ends for make-up artist’s obscenity trial
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 10:04PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 10:22PM EST
A jury was asked if they could handle graphic violence at the Montreal courthouse Monday before they decide the fate of make-up artist Remy Couture.
Couture made a short movie in 2007 featuring violent sexual assaults on many women.
His trial on obscenity charges begins tomorrow. He has pleaded not guilty.
While Couture got his start in the horror film industry, the artist has also worked on Hollywood movies, including the Oscar nominated Barney's Version.
It's his own film work, however, that has landed the special-effects artist in court.
A short called Inner Depravity, features gory, graphic scenes of violent sexual assaults. The film attracted a cult following, but the horror flick horrified detractors.
Interpol became involved, and Couture was eventually charged with producing obscene material.
“We consider it to be obscene because it contains both extreme violence and sex and these two experts are going to explain,” said Crown prosecutor Genevieve Dagenais. “First (there’s) the psychiatrist who's a forensic psychiatrist. He's going to explain the prejudice that comes with seeing such images when you're vulnerable. The second one is going to explain what the impact of these images have on our image of women, because all the victims in the video are women.”
The Crown will also call several police detectives to explain documents they seized when they searched Couture's premises.
Seven women and five men were chosen to sit on the jury.
Defence lawyers said they are not surprised 11 out of 12 jurors said they'd have no problem watching scenes of extreme violence, saying it shows that people are open to that imagery.
“We are very comfortable with the jury and I think the candidates are a very nice group,” said defence attorney Robert Dore.
Dore said that for them, this case revolves largely around the issue of censorship and freedom of expression.
“It's very important for artists, in literature, all kind of arts,” said Dore.
If convicted, the maximum sentence is two years. Couture could also be fined.
The trial begins Tuesday.