Monday, April 11, 2016

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes pleads not guilty in historical sexual assault case

KENTVILLE, N.S. — Prominent Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes pleaded not guilty Monday to decades-old sex-crime allegations in Nova Scotia, where supporters gathered outside a Kentville courtroom to denounce the charges as outdated and unfair.

Hawkes, 65, is accused of indecent assault on a male and gross indecency related to allegations of a sexual assault against a minor in 1974 and 1975.

The alleged victim was 15 and 16 years old at the time, Nova Scotia’s Public Prosecution Service said. Few other details have been released about the case.

The accused did not appear in provincial court Monday. Halifax lawyer Joel Pink appeared on behalf of Hawkes’ Toronto lawyer, Clayton Ruby. Pink declined to comment after the proceedings, as did Ruby.

Hawkes, a well-known gay rights advocate who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2014, has maintained his innocence and says he will fight the accusations.  (more...)


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