Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes charged in historical N.S. sex assault

A well-known Toronto pastor who officiated at Jack Layton's state funeral is denying accusations of sex crimes in Nova Scotia that police allege date back four decades.

See Full Article

"I want to be crystal clear: I am innocent of these allegations," Rev. Brent Hawkes said in a statement on the website of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

"The purported events simply did not take place. I will fight, with all that I have, these accusations."

RCMP Staff Sgt. Craig Burnett said Monday that Hawkes has been charged with indecent assault and gross indecency related to allegations of a sexual assault in the 1970s.

Hawkes, 65, and a native of Bath, N.B., officiated over the state funeral for NDP leader Jack Layton in Toronto in August 2011, and has been a senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church for decades.

"For 38 years, I have fought, with all that I have, for equality for my community. I have fought to give voice to those without voice. Now I will fight, with all that I have, these accusations," he said.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The church board said in a statement that Hawkes is a man of "high integrity and an inspirational community leader" and has "our steadfast support."

Hawkes' lawyer Clayton Ruby said he is confident his client will be vindicated.

"I have known Brent for more than a quarter century. I believe him, completely, when he tells me these accusations are false and that these events did not happen," Ruby said in a statement.

The statement from church board said the alleged incident purportedly occurred prior to Brent becoming the church's pastor, the charge is not made against MCC Toronto and that the church is not funding Hawkes' legal defence.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Vaccinated Brits could be back on Europe's beaches soon: minister

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain is working on easing travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated to allow people to enjoy a summer holiday on Europe's beaches but the plans are not finalized yet, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday. Source
  • U.S. watchdog: Nursing home deaths up 32 per cent in 2020 amid pandemic

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims. Source
  • U.S. official to address legacy of Indigenous boarding schools

    World News CTV News
    U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other federal officials are expected Tuesday to announce steps the federal government plans to take to reconcile the troubled legacy of boarding school policies on Indigenous families and communities. Source
  • Trump Organization sues NYC after golf course contract canceled in wake of U.S. Capitol attack

    World News CTV News
    The Trump Organization on Monday sued the city of New York after it ended its contract for a golf course at Ferry Point Park in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. Source
  • This year's National Indigenous Peoples Day one of reflection and change

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Twenty five years ago, Indigenous groups and Canada set aside June 21 to recognize and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, but the painful revelation that the remains of 215 children were buried in unmarked graves at a residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Source
  • Children by the thousands forced to act as soldiers, victimized by war in 2020

    World News CBC News
    More than 8,500 children were used as soldiers last year in various conflicts across the world and nearly 2,700 others were killed, the United Nations said on Monday. UN chief Antonio Guterres's annual report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict covers the killing, maiming and sexual abuse of children, abduction or recruitment, denial of aid access and targeting of schools and hospitals. Source
  • N.B. premier says provinces discussing July for border reopening

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the provinces are talking about July for the Canada-U.S. border to reopen. Higgs told CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Monday that July 21 is “in the realm” of that timeframe. Source
  • Driver says he is devastated by fatal Pride parade crash

    World News CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- The 77-year-old driver who accidentally slammed his truck into fellow members of a gay chorus group, killing one and injuring two others, said Monday that he was devastated by the crash at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida. Source
  • Pain at the pumps: Gas prices hit 163.9 cents/litre in parts of Metro Vancouver

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Drivers of gas-powered vehicles were stuck paying nearly $1.64 a litre in parts of Metro Vancouver on Monday, and analysts expect to see more pain at the pumps over the summer. Prices reached 163.9 cents at some gas stations before noon, including in Vancouver and Surrey, continuing an upward trend that's been happening since fall. Source
  • Liberal MPs issue their own recommendations on military sexual misconduct — bypassing the opposition

    Canada News CBC News
    After weeks of filibustering, Liberal MPs on the House of Commons defence committee have done an end-run around the opposition by issuing their own list of recommendations on addressing the sexual misconduct crisis in the Canadian military. Source