A trial continues in Nova Scotia today for a Toronto pastor who is charged with indecent assault and gross indecency in a case involving an alleged victim who was a teenager at the time. Rev. Brent Hawkes is known for his work as a gay rights activist and officiated at former N-D-P leader Jack Layton’s state funeral in 2011. On Monday, a witness at his trial accused him of performing a sexual act on a teen boy in Nova Scotia more than 40 years ago. The court heard that at the time, Hawkes was a high school basketball coach in the Annapolis Valley. Hawkes has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and has said he’s innocent of the allegations against him.
A fraud trial continues today for former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum. His ex chief of staff is expected to continue his testimony. Yesterday, Hugo Tremblay said it took just several months on the job to conclude that Applebaum was “open to corruption.” Applebaum — who was arrested in 2013 — faces 14 charges including fraud, corruption and breach of trust. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them. Prosecutor Nathalie Kleber says she hopes to prove the longtime local politician accepted cash in exchange for favours given to local real-estate developers.
Melissa Ann Shepard, the so-called “Internet Black Widow,” is expected to appear in a Nova Scotia court today to sign a two-year peace bond that imposes slightly different conditions on her. Shepard is challenging conditions imposed on her when she was released from prison in March after serving a full sentence of just under three years for spiking newlywed husband Fred Weeks’ coffee with tranquilizers in 2012. Under the conditions, Shepard was required to report to police any potential relationship with a man, keep authorities aware of where she is living, report weekly to police, and inform them of any changes to her appearance.