Restaurant owner convicted of libel
OTTAWAâ€”Restaurateur Marisol Simoes is to appear in court
Nov. 8 to face sentencing after being
found guilty of two counts of criminal libel last week, for painting an online picture of a customer
who complained about one of her restaurants as a highly sexed individual
who wanted group sex.
Simoes is co-owner with her husband of trendy restaurants
Mambo Nuevo Latino and Kinki in Ottawaâ€™s
Elayna Katz wrote two online reviews criticizing Mambo, complaining that there were olives in a pasta dish served
to her when she had asked not to have olives included in it, she was served
peas and celery instead of asparagus as listed on the menu, drink service was
slow and staff tried to charge her for two meals after she had sent the first
Katz said in court that two years of harassment came after her complaint s about the meal at
Mambo in May, 2009.
In court, Justice Diane Lahaie concluded that Simoes was the
individual who sent e-mails to Katzâ€™s bosses at the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities in which she pretended to be Katz, saying she was â€śa tiger in
the bedroomâ€ť and a transgendered person who enjoyed threesomes and group sex.
The judge also found Simoes was the author of a fake highly sexualized profile
of Katz on a dating site.
None of these things were true.
Police traced the dating profile through an IP address to
In court Simoesâ€™ lawyer
argued that her restaurant manager
Sandra Diaz or husband and restaurant co-owner Zadek Ramowski could have
used her computer to send the e-mails and post the dating profile. However,
Justice Lahaie believed Diaz and
Ramowski when they testified it wasnâ€™t them.
Lahaie saw strking similarities between the writing style of an
e-mail sent by Simoes to Ottawa
restaurant review site
RestaurantThing.com and the style in the defamatory e-mails and dating site posting.
Also, Simoe said in the e-mail to the administrator of the website. â€śI have been recently fighting back to prove
a point to her and to hopefully scare
her off, and you guys turn around and take away my postings of defence and
leave her postings of pure lies and malintent!â€ť
The administrator of eventually stopped posting reviews of
Mambo and Kinki because of â€ścontinued abuse by owner and others.â€ť
Simoes had demanded that the website stop showing
reviews of her restaurant.
After Katzâ€™s review of
Mambo appeared, there was a series of postings on the same site calling
In her letter to the website, Simoes accused Katz of being
responsible for all negative reviews of Kinki and Mambo since the month she had
her unsatisfactory experience at Mambo, and accused Katz of using different
names and getting her friends to post reviews as well.
In giving her verdict, Justice Lahae said that the messages
Simoes sent in June 2010 were â€śnot just inappropriate, they were criminal.â€ť