Eugenie Bouchard's sister testifies against man accused of online harassment
A preliminary hearing took place Thursday for a man facing charges he systematically harassed the sister of tennis player Eugenie Bouchard.
Danny Arsenault is accused of sending thousands of messages to Charlotte Bouchard, the athlete’s younger sister. He is pleading not guilty to the charges.
Charlotte Bouchard, 23, testified in court for more than an hour, detailing about what she went through. As is frequently the case during preliminary hearings, the court ordered a publication ban on her testimony and some other evidence that was presented.
"I don't have any comments on the case, but I will say I'm very happy that I've gone through with this," Bouchard said outside the courtroom. "Hopefully this will also encourage anybody to speak out who is going through this as well .... If this can even help one person, then I'm happy with that."
What can be reported is that Arsenault started sending Bouchard messages in 2014 and that she went to police in September 2017.
Since filing her complaints, Bouchard has told several media outlets that she feared for her safety.
Police arrested Arsenault in February 2018.
Arsenault, a 40-year-old man who lives in Verdun, represented himself during the preliminary hearing.
However, given the nature of the charges against him, Arsenault is not allowed to question Bouchard directly.
Because of that, a legal aid lawyer was present to assist Arsenault during the hearing.
Thursday’s hearing serves to test the evidence and determine whether it is sufficient to send Arsenault to trial.
The lead investigator in the case could not testify Thursday because he's on sick leave, which means the preliminary hearing is now postponed until Feb. 21
Arsenault remains free on bail until then and he been ordered to undergo a psychological assessment.
- With files from The Canadian Press