Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sex crimes trial of Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes hears about 'imagination inflation'

The nature and fallibility of memory was the focus of Brent Hawkes' gross indecency trial on Monday, in a case that has seen witnesses recounting events that happened more than 40 years ago.

Timothy Moore, chair of the psychology department at York University's Glendon College, testified that it is not uncommon for people with gaps in their memories to unconsciously insert memories and adopt them as real.

"Memories can undergo a substantial amount of modification over time and the longer the time, the more opportunity for misinformation to occur," Moore, an expert witness who was called by the defence, said in a courtroom in Kentville, N.S.

Hawkes is accused of performing sex acts on a teenage boy more than 40 years ago when the Toronto pastor was a teacher in his mid-20s in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. Hawkes, a prominent rights activist, has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and gross indecency.  (more...)

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