The accused in a defamatory libel trial told Ottawa police that she felt like the victim after a customer wrote a pair of bad online reviews of the restaurant she co-owns, court heard Tuesday.
Marisol Simoes, co-owner of Mambo Nuevo Latino, is on trial for criminal libel. She is accused of setting up fake email accounts, purporting to belong to customer Elayna Katz, which were used to send sexual emails to Katz’ colleagues. She is also accused of setting up a fake, sexual online profile of Katz.
Ottawa police Det. Lee Sabourin testified that he received a phone call from a “quite upset” Simoes, after she saw comments posted from Katz about her bad experience at the restaurant on May 28, 2009.
Sandra Isabel Diaz managed Simoes’ other restaurant, Kinki, and testified that Katz would call the restaurant several times per day for about two weeks asking what would be done with her complaint.
“She wouldn’t talk, she would just yell,” Diaz said in her testimony. “She was yelling at me like a little kid.”
Diaz said she called Katz’s employer, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), to complain about the phone calls.
Defense counsel Henry Burr argued it could have been someone connected to the dispute, other than Simoes, who was responsible for making the fake profile on an adult dating website and sending the fake emails.
Diaz denied having anything to do with it.
Burr argued there is still not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Simoes sent the email or created the dating profile. The Crown maintains that Simoes is responsible.
Justice Lahaie will make her decision Aug. 29.