OTTAWA – An NDP MP says she had sex “without explicit consent” with one of the MPs kicked out of the Liberal caucus earlier this month by Leader Justin Trudeau.
In an telephone interview with QMI Agency, the NDP MP said the encounter with Montreal MP Massimo Pacetti occurred in Ottawa in March.
One of the conditions of the interview with the NDP MP was that her identity would be withheld, which QMI Agency agreed to in the belief that the information she would provide is in the public interest.
The NDP MP said the incident occurred last March at the hotel Pacetti uses as an apartment while in Ottawa.
The two had played in a friendly sports league for some time and often had drinks with their teammates after the event.
On of those after-game occasions, Pacetti invited her back for one more drink in his rooms, she said.
Soon after, he grabbed the NDP MP in a sexual manner, and while she did not say no to what then happened, she did not say yes.
“I froze and I didn’t know what to do,” the MP said.
The Canadian Press, citing anonymous sources, reported the NDP MP also acknowledged providing a condom. Asked about that fact, she refused to comment on the record.
Pacetti, in a statement, said he was “troubled by the fact that the complainant has chosen to act publicly through the media” and said “many questions remain unanswered and it is impossible for us to verify the authenticity of the alleged facts.”
Pacetti, who is married and has two children, also said: “I reaffirm my innocence and I will not comment on this matter in the media any further.”
The new details of this case, though, puts new pressure on parliamentarians to figure out some process to resolve the issue, though it remains as unclear as ever what that process would look like.
It appears to be the first time a member of Parliament has publicly accused another member of Parliament of this kind of behaviour.
The NDP MP, who was the victim of a sexual assault as a teenager, said she did not consider bringing the Pacetti matter to the attention of the police.
“The problem with the criminal process is that it is often worse for the victim than it is just not talking about it,” she said.
The NDP MP spoke about what happened with some of her NDP MP colleagues — but not Leader Thomas Mulcair — and then, at the funeral for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in Hamilton, Ont., she found herself alone with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. She had not planned on disclosing her experience with Pacetti to Trudeau, she said, but it happened.
She also told Trudeau about allegations of harassment that one of her caucus colleagues had made about Liberal MP Scott Andrews.
That set in motion a process of discussion between the caucus leadership on both sides. About a week later, citing allegations of what he called “personal misconduct,” Trudeau kicked both Andrews and Pacetti out of caucus.