Paul Sadlon, who pleaded not guilty, testifies on the third day of the trial at the Barrie courthouse
Editor’s Note: The following contains graphic language heard in court that may upset some readers. There is also a publication ban which limits our ability to provide details of the relevant company and details of its business relationships.
Paul Sadlon denies touching anyone or making inappropriate physical gestures or jokes.
Speaking in his own defense on the third day of his sexual assault trial on Wednesday, the longtime Barrie auto dealership instead said he was unhappy with a business meeting and expressed his dissatisfaction.
Sadlon, who is 89 and walked with the help of others throughout his court appearances, said he was upset with the way an account manager handled his affairs and that he didn’t there were no hugs. He pleaded not guilty to sexual assault.
His lawyer Karen Jokinen asked him, point by point, if he had done what he was accused of: hugging the account manager, kissing her on the cheek, kissing her on the lips, trying to pierce her lips with this tongue, rub her pelvis area against her while moaning, and grabbing one breast then the other.
Each time, he answered “no”.
Instead, Sadlon testified that he was angry that his colleagues attended the December 4, 2019 meeting.
Sadlon said he wanted to do a simple transaction with her to quickly resolve a problem at Paul Sadlon Motors. Instead, the colleagues came up with two other options, neither of which interested him.
Their presence at the meeting, he told the court, surprised him and he found “no need for them”.
“It was none of his business to do that,” Sadlon said, adding that his tone of voice was not pleasant and he told her he would raise the matter with his organization.
Later, he told the prosecutor that she had done a terrible job with her account from day one. But when asked, he said he had not filed any complaints.
“I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t fix this quickly,” Sadlon said.
He said he was adamant that he wanted to solve the problem his own way and he got angry.
The account manager, Sadlon said, started crying and said “you’ll be sorry” before rushing off.
A publication ban prohibits the disclosure of any information that could identify the complainant. As a result, BarrieToday is limited in its ability to publish details heard in court about the relevant company, its employees and details of its business relationships.
Crown attorney Miriam Villamil-Pallister suggested to Sadlon during cross-examination, point by point, that he hugged, kissed, grabbed and crushed the account manager, to his repeated denials.
When she asked him if he made a pussy joke, he replied that he didn’t remember saying that, describing it as an “old-fashioned” comment that was once common. He also said he did not recall the account manager’s colleagues trying to hijack the comment with their own comments about a gerbil and a hairless cat.
“You don’t care what she said,” the prosecutor suggested. “You were the client and you thought you could do it.”
She further suggested that he felt his status allowed him to touch her and that she would be too scared to go to the police.
The court heard that Sadlon was born in Montreal but moved to Bradford aged six where his parents were farmers. He married in 1954 and his wife died in 2015 after living with Alzheimer’s disease.
He had a car dealership for 57 years, 47 under the name Paul Sadlon Motors, and his daughter and son are now involved. The business, owned by Barbay Holdings Inc., has a mechanics and service area that employs about 40 people and the dealership, along with an auto detailing area, has about 40 other people on payroll.
Sadlon was reluctant to say in open court how many companies he owns, but said it was more than five.
The lawyers are due to make their closing submissions before Judge Joseph Wilson in provincial court on May 27.