Mon. Jun 14th, 2021

Court hears Instagram comments allegedly targeting Eugenie Bouchard’s sister

4 min read

Danny Arsenault is alleged to have posted up to 200 comments on just one of Charlotte Bouchard’s Instagram posts.

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A man with a history of mental health problems who is alleged to have left several disturbing messages on Instagram posts made by the sister of tennis star Eugenie Bouchard saw his trial begin at the Montreal courthouse on Monday.

Danny Arsenault, 42, is charged with criminally harassing Charlotte Bouchard and communicating with her repeatedly without a legitimate reason and with the intention of harassing her. The alleged crimes cover a time frame that began in September 2014 and continued until December 2019. The first charge carries a maximum 10-year prison term.

Arsenault entered a not-guilty plea in September.

The accused is acting as his own lawyer. Quebec Court Judge Silvie Kovacevich reminded Arsenault that if he doesn’t plan to raise the issue of his mental health at the time the crimes were committed, the prosecution can do so.

“You know that the prosecution has the intention, at that stage, to introduce into evidence a copy of an evaluation done on your mental state and your criminal responsibility (in the case),” Kovacevich told Arsenault before she began hearing evidence.

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The first witness to testify Monday was Montreal police Det-Sgt. Keven Doyon, one of the investigators assigned to the case after Charlotte Bouchard filed a complaint in 2017 and handed over a series of screen grabs she took to record the comments Arsenault is alleged to have made.

Doyon said the comments were posted to Bouchard’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, usually after she had posted photos of herself on Instagram. He said Arsenault is believed to have used three different pseudonyms, including “occasion perdu” and “conclusion tardive” to post the comments.  Doyon said all three of the pseudonyms were traced to addresses linked to Arsenault’s mother. He added that when the Montreal police ran the mother’s name through a police database, they found she had filed harassment complaints against her son in 2016.

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“(Charlotte Bouchard) is known because she is the sister of Eugenie Bouchard, a popular tennis player. She would post photos on Instagram and her account was public,” Doyon said.

“(The author) would tag her in his comments. She would post one or two photos per week. This person would make from zero to 150 comments per photo” on Instagram, he said.

For the purposes of the investigation, Doyon said, the police gathered 1,850 messages recorded by Bouchard, Doyon and another police investigator.

Some of the messages Doyon read into the court record appeared to show Arsenault was stalking Bouchard. For example, he included images of the Vendôme métro station along with one comment. Bouchard told police it appeared Arsenault wanted to send a message to Bouchard that he knew the location of a clothing boutique in Westmount where she worked at the time. He also posted a video of feet walking toward the boutique.

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In another comment, he mentioned being “outside the boutique,” but that he was unable to go inside.

One comment was addressed to Bouchard’s father. It read: “I’m asking for the hand of your youngest treasure. Can I pick her up tonight?”

Another comment seemed to indicate the author was obsessed with Bouchard: It read: “Will I ever be able to cuddle her. She’s always on my mind.” In another, the author wrote: “I love you so much. Where are you now?”

In the most disturbing comments, the author described violent sexual acts that he wanted to carry out on Bouchard. Also, in 2017, while Bouchard was studying in London, the author wrote: “You have to be here by June 1. I’m almost sure we’ll be living together this summer.”

The trial will resume Monday afternoon.

pcherry@postmedia.com

  1. Danny Arsenault is charged with harassing Charlotte Bouchard, the sister of tennis star Genie Bouchard.

    Man charged with harassing Eugenie Bouchard’s sister thought he was God


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