Sudbury court: Final arguments in kidnapping case to be heard March 15

Closing arguments in the kidnapping trial of a convicted sex offender will be heard on March 15.

Michel Albert is accused of trying to abduct a teenaged girl walking to school on April 4, 2019, near his home on Paquette Street in New Sudbury.

He is also facing charges in connection with what Greater Sudbury Police officers describe as a difficult arrest in Albert’s home on the same day.

Justice Andrew Buttazzoni has rejected a defence application under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that Tactical Unit officers used excessive force in subduing Albert in his apartment.

The application targeted police-related charges Albert is facing stemming from his arrest: assaulting and threatening police, and resisting arrest.

Officers have testified Albert put up a struggle when they tried to arrest him and that he threatened them with a knife and a fork.

Witnesses have also told the court about hearing a commotion on Paquette Street, then finding an injured girl on the sidewalk.

Albert is facing charges of aggravated assault and unlawful forcible confinement for the attack on the girl.

Albert had tried to plead not criminally responsible in the case, saying he could not remember what happened that day and was suffering a mental disorder that rendered him incapable of appreciating his actions. However, a forensic psychiatrist rejected that defence in a report to the court and a trial was ordered.

If convicted in this latest case against him, Albert may face an application by prosecutors to have him declared a dangerous offender.

The dangerous offender designation is reserved for Canada’s most violent criminals and sexual predators. Crown attorneys can seek the designation during sentencing and must show there is a high risk that the criminal will commit violent or sexual crimes in the future.

Albert’s arrest on April 4, 2019, led to a series of other charges and court appearances. As a result, he has been:

– sentenced to five years for performing oral sex on a six- or seven-year-old girl whom he knew while she was asleep more than a decade ago;

– sentenced to 2.5 years for possession of child pornography. The material was discovered on a computer in Albert’s home as police investigated the abduction attempt;

– sentenced to a four-month jail term for committing an indecent act more than a decade ago when he exposed himself to a teenage boy; and

– put on probation for 18 months for sexually assaulting a child 30 years ago.

Albert has maintained his innocence, claimed evidence that would clear him has disappeared and accused prosecutors of misconduct.

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