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Senator Patrick Brazeau leaves a courthouse in Gatineau, Que., after he was formally charged with assault and sexual assault on Feb. 8, 2013. Mr. Brazeau could become a part of a small group of individuals excused from the Senate.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau was charged with assault and sexual assault after a dispute over aboriginal issues turned into a violent confrontation in which he allegedly pushed the complainant hard enough to break the handrail of the staircase she was holding, court records show.

In the complainant's version of events, Mr. Brazeau ordered her to leave his house after a two-day dispute over his handling of aboriginal issues, according to the court records.

Mr. Brazeau, who was appointed to the Senate in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was a vocal critic of the Idle No More movement as well as the hunger strike waged by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.

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The alleged victim told police that she did not support Mr. Brazeau on the matter, and that he ordered her to leave the house on the day of the alleged confrontation. He allegedly ripped up a bra and a blouse that she held in her hands as she packed her bags. Mr. Brazeau also allegedly grabbed one of the alleged victim's breasts in an "aggressive way" and brought down her pants, breaking the button and the zipper, according to the court documents.

In a search warrant for Mr. Brazeau's house on Feb. 7, Gatineau police say they were looking for a torn-up bra and blouse as well as a pant button.

The complainant told police that she had suffered blows and had visible injuries when she called 911. She later alleged that he insulted her in French and English and spat at her.

She said that Mr. Brazeau was holed up in a room when she called police, and he was arrested shortly after an officer arrived at his house.

None of the allegations in the search warrant have been proven in court, and Mr. Brazeau has entered a plea of not guilty.

Mr. Brazeau is scheduled to return to court for a second appearance on March 22. He was released on $1,000 bail on Feb. 8, and ordered not to enter into contact with the alleged victim.

The judge has imposed a publication ban to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

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The Senate has officially suspended Mr. Brazeau while he responds to the charges. The Senate suspension means he continues to collect his $132,000 salary, but access to expenses for travel and staff have been curtailed. Mr. Brazeau, 38, has also been removed from the Conservative caucus.

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