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Car dealer takes the stand, denies sexually assaulting woman

Paul Sadlon, who has pleaded not guilty, testifies on Day 3 of trial

Editor’s note: The following contains graphic language heard in court that could be disturbing for some readers. There is also a publication ban which limits our ability to report details about the company involved and specifics about its business dealings.

Paul Sadlon denies touching anyone or making any inappropriate physical gestures or jokes.

Taking the stand in his own defence during the third day of his sexual assault trial Wednesday, the longtime Barrie car dealer instead said he wasn’t happy with a business meeting and expressed his displeasure.

Sadlon, who is 89 and has been walking with the assistance of others throughout his court appearances, said he was upset with the way an account manager was handling his business and that there was no hugging. He has pleaded not guilty

His lawyer Karen Jokinen asked, 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 through her lips with this tongue, rubbing his pelvic area against her while moaning, and grabbing one breast and then the other.

Each time he replied “no.”

Instead, Sadlon testified he was angry that her colleagues attended the meeting on Dec. 4, 2019.

Sadlon said he wanted to do a simple transaction with her to quickly to solve a problem at Paul Sadlon Motors. Instead, the colleagues offered two other options, none of which interested him.

Their presence in the meeting, he told the court, took him aback and he found “no need for them.”

“It was none of her business to do that,” Sadlon said, adding his tone of voice was not pleasant and he told her that he would take the issue up with her organization. 

He later told the prosecutor that she did a very poor job with his account from Day 1. But when asked, he said he didn’t make any complaints.

“I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t solve this thing quickly,” Sadlon testified. 

He said he was adamant that he wanted to solve the problem his way and he became angry.

The account manager, Sadlon said, became teary and said “you’ll be sorry” before rushing out.

A publication ban prohibits reporting any information that could identify the complainant. As a result, we are limited in our ability to publish details heard in court about the company involved, its employees and specifics about its business dealings.

Crown attorney Miriam Villamil-Pallister suggested to Sadlon in cross-examination, point by point, that he hugged, kissed, grabbed and grinded against the account manager, to his repeated denials.

When she asked if he made a joke about a pussy, he said he doesn’t remember saying that, describing it an “old-school” comment that was once common. He also said he doesn’t remember the account manager’s colleagues trying to deflect the comment with their own comments about a gerbil and a hairless cat.

“You didn’t care what she said,” the prosecutor suggested. “You were the client and you believed you could do that.”

She further suggested that he felt his status allowed him to touch her and she’d be too fearful to go to the police.

Court heard Sadlon was born in Montreal but moved to Bradford at the age of six where his parents farmed. He married in 1954 and his wife died in 2015 after living with Alzheimer's disease.

He has had a car dealership for 57 years, 47 as Paul Sadlon Motors, and his daughter and son are now involved. The business, held under Barbay Holdings Inc., has a mechanic and service area which employs about 40 people and the dealership, with a car detailing area, has another 40 or so people on the payroll.

Sadlon was hesitant to say in open court how many businesses he owns, but did say it’s more than five.

The lawyers are scheduled to make their final submissions before Justice Joseph Wilson in provincial court on May 27.