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

  • Montreal Hudson's Bay store fined $765K for pollutants in St. Lawrence River

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The Bay store in downtown Montreal was fined $765,000 for illegally releasing pollutants into the St. Lawrence River, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada said Friday. But Nathalie Houle of the federal government's public prosecution office was unable to confirm a Montreal La Presse report the fine was imposed after roughly 146 kilograms of PCBs from old transformers on the building's roof leaked into a drain and into the river. Source
  • Trump shut companies tied to Saudi Arabia days after election

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Corporate registrations in Delaware show that President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four companies that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture. Source
  • Official: Refrigerator ruled out as source of Oakland fire

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- A refrigerator was ruled out as the cause of a fire at a warehouse in Oakland that killed 36 people, but investigators were still looking at electrical systems as possible ignition sources, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Friday. Source
  • Florida man shoots ex-wife 4 times in chest at karaoke bar: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    Police in Florida say a man shot his ex-wife four times during an argument at an Orlando karaoke bar early Friday morning. Tu Quoc Ho, 43, was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder with a firearm, aggravated battery with a firearm, tampering with evidence and domestic violence battery, Orlando News 6 reports. Source
  • Giuliani won't be in cabinet as Trump makes campaign-style stops

    World News CBC News
    Appearing jovial and relaxed, Donald Trump plunged back into election politics Friday, a full month after he won the presidency, enthusiastically prodding Louisiana Republicans to turn out for Saturday's Senate runoff election and protect the party's 52-48 margin in Washington. Source
  • Young deer rescued from thin ice near Woodstock

    Canada News CBC News
    A young deer was rescued from almost certain death near Woodstock on Thursday after getting herself into a slippery situation on the partially frozen St. John River. The yearling doe had been doing her own version of a Bambi-on-ice routine for about two days and must have been close to exhaustion by the time Kenny Tomah spotted her in the middle of the river. Source
  • 'Hard to imagine': Penguin drowning deaths at Calgary Zoo baffling everyone

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Watchdog group Zoocheck Canada is calling for surveillance cameras in all animal enclosures following the puzzling drowning deaths of several penguins at the Calgary Zoo. Zoo officials have said a colony of 22 Humboldt penguins was fine when a zookeeper left Wednesday afternoon. Source
  • Toddler safe after car he was in stolen: Ontario police

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Niagara regional police say a child is safe and apparently in good health after the car he was in was stolen in St. Catharines, Ont. Police say a father reported he'd left the car parked and unattended with the two-year-old inside on Friday afternoon and it was gone when he returned. Source
  • A kiss, a tragedy and a 'miracle': Oakland fire victim's girlfriend finds support online

    World News CTV News
    In the days after Saya Tomioka lost her boyfriend in the Oakland fire, a horrific blaze that killed 36 people at a warehouse party last week, she wrote a Facebook plea for help. She longed to see a photograph of her and her late boyfriend, Griffin Maddens, sharing a kiss in Times Square in the summer of 2015 – but she never got the name of the photographer who captured the fleeting embrace. Source
  • 'Balding Bandit' gets two years for stealing hair growth products

    World News Toronto Sun
    A balding Florida man has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing hair growth formula in a series of thefts in Ohio. Andres Arias, 36, was arrested in October in Ohio on a charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, according to the Palm Beach Post. Source