Montreal Canadiens Legend Guy Lafleur Guilty of Obstruction of Justice

Kevin van Steendelaar@@LeTirEtLeButAnalyst IMay 1, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - 1990:  Right wing Guy Lafleur #01 of the Quebec Nordiques skates with the puck during warmups prior to a 1990 NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

A Quebec court has found NHL Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur guilty of obstructing justice.

The charges stem from contradictory evidence given by Lafleur at a Sep. 2007 bail hearing for his son Mark.

Lafleur's son was out on bail on several charges at the time, including assault.

Mark Lafleur was staying at a halfway house, but an investigation learned that he had violated his sentencing conditions when he spent two nights with a girlfriend in a hotel.

The 24-year-old is now serving 15 months house arrest on several drug, drunk driving, and assault charges after pleading guilty to 23 counts, including 13 involving an ex-girlfriend.

It was discovered that the elder Lafleur drove his son to the hotel.

At the bail hearing, Lafleur denied the allegations, but a paper trail that included credit card receipts in his name proved that he had.

Guy Lafleur stood without emotion as the verdict was announced.

The maximum penalty for perjury is 14 years in jail.

Crown Prosecutor Lori Weitzman is seeking a conditional sentence for Lafleur to be served in the community, saying he doesn't pose a danger to society.

Weitzman stated that just because Lafleur is a public personality he shouldn't be treated any differently than anyone else who lies to the court.

"Justice has to be applied equally," she said.

Lafleur's attorney, Jean-Pierre Rancourt, requested an absolution to the court, arguing that a criminal record would hinder Lafleur's frequent travel to the United States.

Rancourt felt that Lafleur has suffered enough, given the large volume of publicity the case has attracted, and is seeking that his client just pay a fine.

Lafleur has previously filed a $3.5 million civil suit against the police and prosecutor involved in issuing the arrest warrant for him after his charges gained international attention.

Lafleur's sentence will be rendered on Jun. 8.

The 57-year-old won five Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and is the team's all-time leading scorer.

After retiring in 1984, he made a successful comeback in 1988 with the New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques.

He is only one of three players to return to playing in the NHL after being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.


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