Quebec MNA cleared of sex assault allegations not welcome in caucus: Couillard
QUEBEC — A member of Quebec’s legislature recently cleared of sexual assault allegations won’t be allowed back in the Liberal caucus, Premier Philippe Couillard said Tuesday.
Gerry Sklavounos, 42, returned to work for the first time since taking medical leave after his removal from caucus in October.
A woman alleged last fall that Sklavounos assaulted her twice in 2014 when she was 19 and working as a hostess at a Quebec City restaurant.
The Crown earlier this month concluded no crime had taken place and Sklavounos would not be charged.
After news broke of the complaint, other people came forward alleging Sklavounos acted innapropriately towards colleagues.
On Tuesday, Couillard said Sklavounos’ public statement announcing his return to the legislature didn’t meet his expectations.
He added that the other “allegations and possibilities” involving Sklavounos had not yet been cleared up.
“We have to send a very clear message to Quebecers, especially Quebec women, that everywhere — but in the workplace in particular — respect must be total, and confidence must be total,” he told reporters at the legislature.
Couillard said the public needed to hear the former Liberal deputy house leader reflect on the “profound significance” of the accusations and how they would change him as a person.
Sklavounos, who has always maintained his innocence, promised last week to be more careful about what he called his spontaneous and passionate behaviour.
He also offered “sincere regret for anybody I may have offended or whose feelings I may have hurt,” and added he’d be more reserved in the future.
On Tuesday, Sklavounos said he respected his colleagues’ decision to keep him out of caucus and declined to comment further.
He added he was happy to be back at work on behalf of the Montreal riding he has represented since 2007.
The Canadian Press
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