A well-known figure in Quebec's music industry is now facing prison time for repeatedly assaulting a woman in a domestic context. Denis Wolff in particular strangled his victim with a pillow for several seconds to the point where he almost lost consciousness.
Posted at 12:22 p.m.
“We must truly denounce violence against women, spouses and intimate partners. We must say no to violence. There is no need to be afraid – I know it is difficult. We can trust the justice system,” commented Crown prosecutor Me Hélène Décarie in a press briefing.
Little known to the public, Denis Wolff was a well-known artistic director who had made a name for himself at the record company Audiogram. He particularly contributed to the success of artists Jean Leloup, Pierre Lapointe, Patrick Watson, Lhasa de Sela, Loco Locass and Bran Van 3000.
The 67-year-old was forced to resign from the board of the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) when La Presse published his indictment in April 2021.
Denis Wolff aborted his trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday at the Montreal courthouse, by pleading guilty to four charges, including assault and battery by strangling the victim. A court order protects the victim's identity, a connection to the defendant.
In a first episode, Denis Wolff threw his electronic tablet into a woman's face during an “argument,” giving her a black eye. In the following months there was an “escalation” of violence. The defendant increased the insults and physical violence. Among other things, he pushed her onto the bed and then held her by her wrists.
Two episodes stand out. In an “explosion of violence,” Denis Wolff pushed the victim out of his vehicle and then began to slowly move forward. Another time, he punched the woman in the face in another “outrage of rage.” She then hit her head against the wall. Injuries with significant after-effects.
The worst episode of violence in 2021 prompted the victim to report her tormentor. Enraged, Denis Wolff began hitting the woman with a slipper. He then took a pillow and choked the victim for several seconds. The woman was scared and felt like she would lose consciousness.
The parties requested a pre-sentence report to paint a portrait of the perpetrator and make observations on the sentence to be imposed. The lawyers have not yet opened their game regarding the requested verdict. He faces a prison sentence.
In the press interview, the prosecutor recalled how important a defendant's admission of guilt is for a victim.
“It brings a lot. It obviously won't be deleted. This will help you regain control, close a chapter and be able to heal your wounds,” said Mr. Décarie.
I Alexandra Boulanger and I Pierre Poupart defend the defendant.