A statement in French distributed by Blanchet’s press secretary on Wednesday morning said Blanchet invites the person who posted the allegations, relating an incident in 1999, to “file a complaint” with the appropriate authorities.
“The leader of the Bloc Québécois hopes that justice will be sought to ensure that the victims of crimes are protected,” Carolane Landry said in French.
“Yves-François Blanchet will continue with his professional activities. No further comments will be made.”
The allegations were posted on Tuesday to Facebook page called “Hyènes en jupons” — or “Hyenas in skirts.” The group describes itself as a feminist collective that aims for change through disruption.
Global News does not know the identity of the accuser and has not yet been able to verify the claims in the post.
In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, the woman said the memory of the alleged assault has haunted her for years. The Gazette did not publish the identity of the woman, who told the newspaper she only recently realized Blanchet is now the leader of the Bloc.
Global News has reached out to the Facebook group and Blanchet’s office for further comment.
Asked whether Montreal police had received a complaint about the alleged incident, a spokesperson for the local police service said the force doesn’t confirm whether a specific sexual assault complaint has been received or whether they’re investigating a specific incident, for safety and privacy reasons.
A statement in French sent to Global News said the SPVM encourages anyone who is a victim of sexual assault to call 911 or to present at their local police station to file an official complaint.
-With files from Global News’ Mike De Souza
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