Thursday, July 23, 1998

Harold Levy

p. C3.

Lawyer tries to bloc video of dominatrix

The defence lawyer for the woman known as Madame de Sade is trying to block the introduction into evidence of an explicit home video at her trial for keeping a common bawdy house because it invades her privacy.

The hour-long video shows Terri-Jean Bedford, dressed in black and sporting a massive black wig, performing various acts of sadomasochism on a masked man.

Judge Roy Bogusky of Ontario Court, provincial division, allowed prosecutor Peter Westgate to screen the video in court even though he has not ruled on its admissibility. He also permitted the media to report on it as a jury is not trying the case.

Westgate is trying to establish through the video, which ran without sound, that sex was being sold for money at the establishment advertised as "Madame de Sade's House of Erotica." The house, a bungalow, is located in an upper-scale residential area in Thornhill.

But defence lawyer Alan Young said Bogusky should not consider the tape because, "all we are witnessing is her with friends. . . We don't drag people into court to expose their private lives." Young said Bedford will testify today that she lived in the house.

Bogusky wants to hear more evidence before ruling. But he observed that much of the material seized in a raid on Sep. 15, 1994, was of a business, rather than private nature. "There appears to be a lot apparatus there," Bogusky said, referring to the van full of items carted away by the police.

These items included a coffin, a jail cell, an altar, an "interrogation chair," a baby crib big enough for adults, and ropes, chains, paddles, rattan sticks, cuffs and whips.

Tour of chambers

At the beginning of yesterday's hearing, Robert Cullen, a York Region police undercover officer, testified that after a tour of eight chambers catering to different fantasies, he was brought into the "headmistress" office for an interview with a woman named Marie, whom the defence admits is Bedford.

Cullen began the interview by asking, "(If) I come (for a session) on Friday, I'll be able to sit on Monday, won't I? I don't need any marks," and was assured that this wouldn't be a problem.

Asking "what if I get exited," Cullen was told that he would be allowed to relieve himself once each session, but preferably at the end. "There is no sex here," Cullen was also told.

In cross-examination, Young took issue with Cullen's testimony that he believed Bedford referred to anal penetration when she told him that latex gloves were to be used for penetration, and didn't ask which orifices to which she was referring.

Cullen testified how, on Sep. 15, he gained access for 14 officers executing a search warrant on the bungalow.

Cullen denied a suggestion by Young, who has indicated he will try to prove that the way the raid was conducted violated Bedford's right against unreasonable search and seizure under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that numerous officers rushed in, guns drawn.

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Created: August 19, 1998
Last modified: August 19, 1998

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