SAGUENAY, Que. – The son of NHL hockey legend Patrick Roy will stand trial for assault next month after a judge rejected an effort to have the case dismissed Tuesday.
Jonathan Roy will stand trial for the on-ice beating he delivered in 2008 to an opposing goalie in Quebec’s major junior league.
Roy – a former goalie with the Quebec Remparts who now sings in a pop band – had been trying to get the case tossed out. That motion was rejected Tuesday by Quebec court judge Valmont Beaulieu.
Beaulieu’s ruling of more than 60 pages means the young man will stand trial Oct. 7 for the pummeling administered last year to rival goalie Bobby Nadeau.
In a scene that prompted a national debate on violence in hockey, one even Prime Minister Stephen Harper weighed into, Roy skated across the ice and rained blows down on his opponent.
Roy’s lawyer argued that he was targeted by prosecutors just because of his famous family name – the victim of a biased police investigation and improper application of prosecution guidelines.
He argued that the Crown went after Roy on the basis of new provincial rules that hadn’t even been in place when the attack occurred.
Under new rules introduced in July 2008, Quebec’s Office of Public Prosecution toughened a 30-year-old regulation that made assault charges possible for a hockey player only when the incident resulted in injury.
Because Nadeau did not suffer lasting injuries, Roy’s lawyers argued that no charges should have been laid under the old rules.
Roy was charged three days after July 28, 2008, when the tougher regulations came into effect.
But Beaulieu declared that cases should only be tossed out in exceptional circumstances – and he concluded that Roy’s case did not meet that standard.
“The court is convinced that the state did not contravene the rules of decency and good faith and did not behave unfairly and persecutorially to the point of violating fundamental notions of justice,” the judge wrote.
“The suspension of procedures is reserved for the rarest category of occasions and. . . the present case cannot be counted in that category.”
Roy did not comment on the decision and darted off from the courtroom, avoiding the crush of journalists outside.
His lawyer didn’t have much to say, either.
“We’ll study the decision,” said Roy’s lawyer, Steve Magnan.
“It’s a voluminous verdict and we’ll take the time to look at it. There will be a trial in the month of October and we’ll see where things go.”