A well known Toronto pastor has been charged with historical sex assault in Nova Scotia.
Rev. Brent Hawkes is facing charges of indecent assault and gross indecency related to allegations of a sexual assault in the 1970’s.
The news was confirmed by RCMP Staff Sgt. Craig Burnett on Monday.
In a statement on the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto website, Hawkes reacted to the allegations saying that he is innocent, adding that “the purported events simply did not take place.”
Meanwhile, 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.”
The 65 year old native New Brunswick is well known in the city of Toronto, having officiated over the state funeral for NDP leader Jack Layton in Toronto in 2011.
He has been senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church for 38 years and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007 for his work in human rights and social justice in the LGBT community.