Geneviève* thought she would die when she saw a hooded man, armed with a pistol, get locked up in her small office. “I already knew we were going to get mugged,” she told the jury. The young woman described the nightmarish 10 minutes of her attack on Wednesday.

Jean-Pierre Bellemare, 56, is accused of sexually assaulting with a weapon two young employees of the Center Emmanuel-Grégoire, a halfway house in eastern Montreal. The Crown intends to demonstrate that the hooded man who attacked the two women in July 2018 is Jean-Pierre Bellemare.

That evening, Geneviève works with her colleague Fanny* in a room located in the basement of the establishment which receives delinquents who have just been released from prison. Around 10:40 p.m., a hooded man arrives at the premises and bars the door. The intruder points his pistol at the two women. “Shut the fuck up,” he says in English.

“I’m going to die,” Genevieve thought to herself. His colleague Fanny asks the intruder what he wants. The latter rushes on Fanny and puts the barrel of his weapon on the woman’s head. “You wanna play tough,” he says. He then orders Fanny to get up and lean against the table. Genevieve is 30 centimeters away.

The assailant touches Fanny’s breasts, then asks her to kneel down and give him a blowjob, says Geneviève. After ordering Fanny to get on the floor, the intruder turns to Geneviève and asks her to get up and drop her pants.

“I think I’m going to get mugged,” she testifies.

The hooded man tries to penetrate her anus by placing both hands on Geneviève’s jeans. He then tries to penetrate her vagina, which doesn’t work either. “It doesn’t want to go in, so suck it,” he says in English. As she does, Geneviève chokes. “I almost threw up,” she breathes.

Then, the intruder sprinkles Geneviève with cayenne pepper. She gasps. “The pain I felt was so intense I thought I had been shot [with a gun]. I couldn’t breathe,” she says. The assailant then sprinkles Fanny in the same way and flees.

Genevieve is in “shock”. She hastens to bar the door and hides so as not to be seen from the outside. “I was convinced he was going to pull me, but from outside,” she said. In the meantime, her colleague Fanny is talking on the phone. During the assaults, the phone rang repeatedly as Fanny pressed her portable “panic button”. The assailant had however ordered him not to answer.

The jeans worn by Fanny that day were exhibited to the jury on Wednesday. The Crown intends to prove that the DNA of Jean-Pierre Bellemare was found in several places on the pants. His sperm was also found on Geneviève’s body, according to the public prosecutor.

The trial continues Thursday before Judge Daniel Royer. Me Patrick Lafrenière and Me François Giasson represent the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions. The accused defends himself.