“Man accusing Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes of sex crimes faces cross-examination in Nova Scotia” & elated articles

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Complainant says Hawkes performed sex acts on him during a drunken party in the 1970s

CBC News Nova Scotia

The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 17, 2016 9:26 AM ATLast Updated: Nov 17, 2016 2:16 PM AT

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes is charged with the indecent assault of a teenage boy 40 years ago.

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes is charged with the indecent assault of a teenage boy 40 years ago. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

A defence lawyer is suggesting the complainant at the trial of Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes reconstructed some memories surrounding alleged sex offences four decades ago, rather than recalled true memories.

Clayton Ruby noted Thursday in provincial court in Kentville, N.S., that the complainant was involved in a car accident as a teenager that led to a civil suit.

Ruby said the judge in that case found the complainant had reconstructed his actions immediately prior to the crash rather than recalled them from direct memory.

Ruby suggested the complainant is also reconstructing some memories in this case, and throughout his cross-examination has questioned the accuracy of his memories.

But the complainant disagreed, saying that some moments from the get-together are foggy but others are vivid — something he has repeated throughout his testimony.

The complainant testified Tuesday that Hawkes led him down a hallway naked during a drunken get-together at his Nova Scotia trailer in the mid-1970s and performed sex acts on him in a bedroom.

Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2011, has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and gross indecency.

His trial began Monday and he is expected to testify in his own defence.

Blair Rhodes is live blogging from the trial.

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N.S. sex-charge trial continues for prominent Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes

The Toronto Sun

THE CANADIAN PRESS

First posted: | Updated:

Brent Hawkes

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes arrives at provincial court in Kentville, N.S. on Thursday, November 14, 2016. A judge in Nova Scotia is set to hear the case of a well-known Toronto pastor facing charges related to decades-old sex-crime allegations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

KENTVILLE, N.S. – The complainant in the indecent assault and gross indecency trial of a well-known Toronto pastor has resumed testimony in Kentville, N.S.

Brent Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2011, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The complainant tearfully told the trial Tuesday that Hawkes encouraged teenage males to strip at a drunken party in the 1970s, and then took him to a bedroom for sex.

The witness, who can’t be identified under a publication ban, said he remembers barely being able to stand up when Hawkes led him naked to a bedroom, where he told him he was beautiful and performed sexual acts on him.

Defence lawyer Clayton Ruby appeared to question the witness Tuesday on the reliability of his memories, but the witness denied that his memory was poor.

The trial took a one-day hiatus Wednesday, and Ruby’s cross examination continues today.

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Defence again questions complainant’s memory at Rev. Brent Hawkes’ sex trial

Man alleges Hawkes sexually assaulted him in the 1970s when he was a student at West Kings 

hawkes

Rev. Brent Hawkes, right, is on trial for indecent assault and gross indecency at Kentville provincial court. (IAN FAIRCLOUGH / Local Xpress / File)

The trial of Rev. Brent Hawkes continued in Kentville provincial court Thursday morning, with defence lawyer Clayton Ruby again questioning the memory of a man who alleges that Hawkes sexually assaulted him in the 1970s.

Hawkes is charged with indecent assault and gross indecency for allegedly assaulting the man when he was a student at West Kings District High School in the 1970s.

He showed the man a document that indicated Hawkes wasn’t a teacher when the man was in Grade 9, as he had testified. The man said he couldn’t explain that.

“That’s my memory,” the man said of his assertion that he had Hawkes as a teacher.

“That’s my point,” Ruby replied.

Ruby also brought out a decision in a civil suit stemming from a car crash the complainant was involved in. He had the man read the judge’s ruling, which said he didn’t believe the man’s testimony.

The judge said he felt the man was “reconstructing” the events of the crash and not recalling what happened.

Ruby asked if that was the case in this trial as well, but the man denied that.

“I have to disagree, sir,” the complainant said.

He said he didn’t recall rumours at the school that Hawkes was gay or hearing that Hawkes had come out as gay.

Ruby also suggested that the man once went to visit Hawkes on his own because he was questioning his own sexuality.

The man said he didn’t recall visiting alone or for that purpose, and doubts that he would.

Ruby also asked the complainant why he testified that he didn’t know how he ended up at Hawkes’ trailer, but in a statement said that his friends insisted he go.

The man replied that by “how” he meant the mode of transportation.

Ruby suggested the man appeared to be reconstructing his memories of his friends’ insistence on going to the trailer.

He also suggested the man reconstructed his memories when saying it was Hawkes who suggested playing strip caps.

The man said he must have, because he and his friends wouldn’t have suggested it.

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Rev. Hawkes’ lawyer suggests man reconstructed memories at sex-case trial

The trial of well-known Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes continued on Thursday in a Nova Scotia courtroom

The Toronto Star

17 November 2016

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes arrives at provincial court in Kentville, N.S. on Thursday, Nov. 14. Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2011, has pleaded not guilty to his charges.
Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes arrives at provincial court in Kentville, N.S. on Thursday, Nov. 14. Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2011, has pleaded not guilty to his charges.  (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)  

KENTVILLE, N.S.—A defence lawyer is suggesting the complainant at the trial of Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes reconstructed some memories surrounding alleged sex offences, rather than recalled true memories.

Clayton Ruby noted Thursday in Kentville, N.S., provincial court that the complainant was involved in a car accident as a teenager that led to a civil suit.

Ruby said the judge in that case found the complainant had reconstructed his actions immediately prior to the crash rather than recalled them from direct memory.

Ruby suggested the complainant is also reconstructing some memories in this case, and throughout his cross examination has questioned the accuracy of his memories.

But the complainant disagreed, saying that some moments from the get-together are foggy but others are vivid — something he has repeated throughout his testimony.

The complainant testified Tuesday that Hawkes led him down a hallway naked during a drunken get-together at his Nova Scotia trailer in the mid-1970s and performed sex acts on him in a bedroom.

Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2011, has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and gross indecency.

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Brent Hawkes Trial: Alleged Victim Of Toronto Pastor Breaks Down At Sex Abuse Trial

The Huffington Post   Canada

Posted: Updated:

KENTVILLE, N.S. — His face streaked with tears, the middle-aged man put his head in his hands and breathed heavily.

Testifying about an alleged sexual encounter with Brent Hawkes as a teen more than 40 years ago, his face was red with emotion. The man declined suggestions, however, that he should take a break from the witness stand.

“I think this is as good as it’s going to get,” the man quietly said of his emotional state Tuesday.

It was his first day of testimony at the well-known Toronto pastor’s trial on charges of indecent assault and gross indecency. The man, the complainant in the case, will return to the stand Thursday after an off-day Wednesday.

brent hawkes
Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes arrives at provincial court in Kentville, N.S. on Thursday. (Photo: Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Crown lawyer Bob Morrison said Tuesday was a distressing day for the complainant, who can’t be identified under a publication ban, as he recalled memories that have haunted him for decades.

“It was very emotional. He described some of the details very vividly,” Morrison said outside of the courtroom in Kentville, N.S. “Other details he was a little bit fuzzy on. But he was very clear on the things he did remember.”

Hawkes, a prominent rights activist who was then a teacher in the Annapolis Valley, has pleaded not guilty.

The man, who was then about 16, testified that Hawkes encouraged him and other teenage males to strip at a drunken get-together at his trailer in the mid-1970s, and then took him to a bedroom for sex.

“It was very emotional. He described some of the details very vividly.”

He said he had heard of students hanging out at Hawkes’ place, and had been there once before himself to drink alcohol and play the video game Pong. The man said it was a single-unit trailer located behind a tavern in a trailer park in Greenwood, N.S., with a living room, small kitchen, bathroom and at least one bedroom.

All three witnesses that have testified thus far have said they were high school students when they attended a gathering at Hawkes’ trailer.

But some details of the get-together have differed among the three men. And all three admitted their memories from that day are not complete.

Two witnesses, including the complainant, have testified that drinking games were being played and that at one point, clothes were being taken off as part of the game.

But when asked by the defence, the other witness said he had no recollection of that. That same witness said he doesn’t remember if alcohol was consumed at the trailer.

rev brent hawkes
Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes celebrates in the WorldPride Parade on Yonge Street, Toronto, Ont., June 29, 2014. (Photo: Michael Hudson/The Canadian Press)

“I don’t remember because I’ve tried to forget,” that witness testified on Monday. “I don’t remember a lot about that night and I want to only say the things I can remember.”

One witness testified that he saw Hawkes performing oral sex on the complainant on the floor of the living room. He said someone asked the teenager what was going on, and the student put his hands up in the air as if to say he didn’t know.

But the complainant made no mention of that during his testimony Tuesday, only saying that Hawkes performed sex acts on him in a bedroom at the trailer.

The complainant did say that as part of the drinking games being played in the living room, Hawkes suggested at one point that if you lost the game, you would do something to the other players — “Like touch them, rub them.”

“I don’t remember because I’ve tried to forget.”

“(Hawkes) was watching us disrobe — encouraging us,” the complainant testified, adding that Hawkes had been sitting on the couch in his underwear. “It just seemed very, very strange.”

High-profile defence lawyer Clayton Ruby has questioned the witnesses on the reliability of their memories, but all three men have contended that what they have told the court is true.

Ruby spent much of Tuesday questioning the complainant, noting there were discrepancies in some of the man’s testimony compared to what he said in his statement to police, including the touching and rubbing as part of the drinking game.

“I’d say it’s a patchwork of really clear memories that aren’t enough to fill in the full picture,” the complainant said when questioned by Ruby, likening it to a book with a ripped-out page. “The passage would be complete, but it’s not the entire book.”

‘Devil is in the details’

Morrison said details are important in this case.

“These types of cases, there’s a saying ‘The devil is in the details,’ so (Ruby) is just making sure any inconsistencies or anything along those lines, he questions them about,” said Morrison.

The trial is also scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of next week in Kentville provincial court.

Hawkes has watched intently during the proceedings, sitting in the front row of the gallery diagonally from the witness stand, often jotting down notes in a black notebook open on his lap.

“I want to be crystal clear: I am innocent of these allegations.”

It’s not known if Hawkes will take the stand.

Hawkes has maintained his innocence. He issued a statement earlier this year saying: “I want to be crystal clear: I am innocent of these allegations … The purported events simply did not take place. I will fight, with all that I have, these accusations.”

Originally from Bath, N.B., Hawkes has been the senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto for 38 years. Considered one of the spiritual leaders of Toronto’s gay community, he is also known as a vocal proponent of same-sex marriage, and in 2007 was appointed to the Order of Canada.

1 Response to “Man accusing Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes of sex crimes faces cross-examination in Nova Scotia” & elated articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    Here’s the latest on the Brent Hawkes trial. If yo check the live CTV blog you will see that Hawkes took the stand in his own defence – was lead through his testimony by Clayton Ruby, and is now under cross-examination by the Crown.

    It seems Rub’s cross-examination of the complainant was the standard, basically from what I call the little defence black book, ie. try to make complainant look like a liar by whatever means.

    I see from one of the above articles that the school was West King’s. Well, well. Our children attended West Kings for a few years. That was after Hawkes was there, but, there you go…. Who knows what might be going on where?

    Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

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