Roy faces assault for on-ice beating

SAGUENAY, Quebec -- The son of NHL great Patrick Roy will stand trial Oct. 7 on charges he assaulted a goaltender during a game last year, an outburst that prompted a national debate on violence in hockey.

Jonathan Roy had been trying to get the case thrown out, but his request was rejected by Quebec court judge Valmont Beaulieu.

Roy left the courtroom without comment.

"It's a voluminous verdict and we'll take the time to look at it," said his lawyer, Steve Magnan.

Roy, a former goalie with the Quebec Remparts, is accused of beating rival goalie Bobby Nadeau in March 2008 during a game in Quebec's major junior league. He skated across the ice and rained blows on his opponent.

Roy's lawyer argued that his client was targeted by prosecutors because of his family name. He also contends Roy was the victim of a biased police investigation and misconduct by prosecutors. He adds that the government pursued his client on new provincial rules that hadn't been in place when the attack occurred.

Under rules introduced in July 2008, Quebec's Office of Public Prosecution toughened a 30-year-old regulation that made assault charges possible for a hockey player only when injury resulted.

Nadeau did not sustain lasting injuries, and Roy's lawyers say no charges should have been filed. Roy was charged three days after July 28, 2008, when the tougher regulations took effect.

The judge said cases should be tossed only in the "rarest category of occasions" and concluded Roy's case did not meet that standard.

"The court is convinced that the state did not contravene the rules of decency and good faith and did not behave unfairly and persecutorially to the point of violating fundamental notions of justice," the judge wrote.

Patrick Roy won the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL's top goalie, three times in a 19-year career that included four Stanley Cup titles with Montreal and Colorado.