A young woman charged with participating in the Stanley Cup riot – a far cry from when she was crowned Miss Congeniality at a Vancouver beauty pageant – will plead guilty.
Sophie Laboissonniere, who won the Miss Congeniality title at a Miss Coastal Vancouver pageant last year, was scheduled to go to trial in the spring. She was charged with one count of participating in a riot and one count of breaking and entering.
But her lawyer, David Baker, told Vancouver Provincial Court Thursday that Ms. Laboissonniere will instead plead guilty to the participating in a riot charge at her next court appearance Jan. 3.
In an interview, Mr. Baker declined comment on why his client chose to enter the plea. He said it would be an inappropriate time to discuss the case, or how it has affected Ms. Laboissonniere.
He did say her participation in the riot – which broke out on June 15, 2011, after the hometown Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final – consisted of taking a bottle of water from a store.
Ms. Laboissonniere, who was 20 at the time of the riot, was among the first people charged.
Last January, Mr. Baker had indicated his client would plead guilty, before opting for a trial, then changed direction again.
The Vancouver Police Department announced in September that it had recommended charges against the 275th alleged rioter. In B.C., police can only recommend charges; the Crown must decide whether to approve and lay them.
Constable Brian Montague, a Vancouver police spokesman, said Thursday the number of people against whom charges have been recommended is still 275, though he said more charges will be recommended “in the near future.”
Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said, as of last week, charges had been laid against 169 alleged rioters. He said just over 100 individuals had pleaded guilty and 24 had been sentenced.
The hockey riot – Vancouver’s second in 17 years – caused $3.7-million worth of damage.