This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
A former Liberal MP, Alexandra Mendes, has recently stressed that the audience should be open to the idea that Massimo Pacetti’s late night hotel-room encounter with an NDP MP might be a misunderstanding rattan than an assault. Mendes has worked closely with Pacetti when they represented Montreal-area ridings from 2008-2011. Mendes also alleged that Trudeau should consider allowing him back into the caucus if a process eventually clears Pacetti of wrongdoing.
Both Pacetti and Newfoundland MP, Scott Andrews, were kicked out of the Liberal caucus by Trudeau after he heard from a female NDP MP about being harassed by them. However, Pacetti and Andrews have both persistently denied the allegations. The MP, who made the allegations, informed several media outlets that she went to Pacetti’s hotel room for a nightcap in March, which led to sex “without explicit consent.” The MP alleged she didn’t want to have sex, but froze when he grabbed her. However, the MP acknowledged that she didn’t say no and did provide him with a condom.
According to Mendes, people should consider that Pacetti might have genuinely believed that the encounter was voluntary. She alleged that “when you provide a condom, what do you expect him to do?” adding “how do you expect the man to interpret it? You went willingly up to the room with him. You were not forced. You end up sitting on the bed and providing him with a condom. What is the message?” Mendes stressed that details of the event give her “the idea that there was some consent.”