Thursday, November 24, 2016

Defence lawyer says evidence against pastor Brent Hawkes in sexual assault trial is 'weird'

Brent Hawkes' lawyer told his gross indecency trial Wednesday that the evidence against the Toronto pastor is "weird," but the prosecutor contended that doesn't make it any less plausible.

Defence lawyer Clayton Ruby said in his closing argument that the entire case will be remembered as weird, amid "an abundance of evidence" that the testimony of the witnesses is unreliable.

"The weirdness tells you things that ordinary cases don't tell you," Ruby told provincial court Judge Alan Tufts in Kentville, N.S.

A middle-age man testified last week that Hawkes led him down a hallway naked during a drunken get-together at his trailer in Greenwood, N.S., in the mid-1970s, and forced oral sex on him in a bedroom when he was about 16 years old. Two other men have also testified they attended the get-together as teenagers, and one said he witnessed Hawkes performing oral sex on the complainant.

Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist, was then a teacher in the Annapolis Valley.

Responding to Ruby, Crown lawyer Bob Morrison said weirdness does not necessarily diminish probability.

"Just because it's weird doesn't make it less plausible that it happened. A lot of weird things happen and we see that all the time in provincial court," said Morrison just after the trial wrapped up for the day.  (more...)

More coverage:


Is "weird" the latest sexual orientation?

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