Two workers at a Montreal halfway house experienced a nightmare in July 2018. A hooded man with a gun sexually assaulted them one after the other, then sprayed them with cayenne pepper before to flee.

This hooded man is the accused Jean-Pierre Bellemare, hammered on Tuesday the Crown prosecutor Me Patrick Lafrenière, in his opening statement to the jury at the Montreal courthouse. The 56-year-old is accused of committing two sexual assaults with a weapon against two women in their twenties.

This banal day of July 31, 2018 took a “tragic” turn for Fanny* and Geneviève*, two employees of the Center Emmanuel-Grégoire, a halfway house in eastern Montreal that welcomes inmates coming out of prison. Jean-Pierre Bellemare has already spent nearly a month in this establishment in 2011, intends to prove the public prosecutor.

Fanny and Geneviève are working in the basement that evening. Around 10:40 p.m., they heard the sound of a door. Suddenly, a hooded man appears with what appears to be a gun. One after the other, they will be raped by the intruder, the two complainants will testify, explained Me Lafrenière.

“[Fanny] is going to say that the hooded man is going to lean her against the desk, he is going to put his hand in her bra and is going to take her breast. [Fanny] will relate that afterwards, the hooded man with the weapon will order him to perform oral sex on him, ”said the prosecutor.

“Afterwards, after finishing with [Fanny], the hooded man will turn to [Geneviève], he will do pretty much the same thing. He is going to lean Madame against the desk, she is going to pick herself up with her panties on her knees. The hooded man will try to penetrate [Geneviève] in the anus first, then he will try to penetrate her vaginally, ”continued Me Lafrenière in his presentation of the case to the jury.

And as if the horror experienced by the two women was not “heinous enough”, the hooded man will take turns forcing them to look at him to spray them in the face with cayenne pepper. He will then flee.

During the assaults, the assailant spoke English with an Italian accent, the complainants will testify, said Me Lafrenière. However, this person “was not primarily an English speaker or an Italian”, intends to demonstrate the public prosecutor.

The evidence against Jean-Pierre Bellemare is numerous: his DNA was found in multiple places on the clothes and the body of the two women and his sperm was found on the anus of a victim, listed Me Lafrenière. In addition, the accused himself made a confession to the police and wrote a letter of apology.

Jean-Pierre Bellemare represents himself alone. The trial is scheduled for a few weeks before Judge Daniel Royer of the Superior Court.