Principal pleads not guilty in sex abuse case

Ashley Thompson
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Keyes’ trial set for October

Doug Keyes as pictured in the Windsor Regional High School yearbook staff photo circa 1996. On Dec. 16, 2011, Keyes was charged by the RCMP in relation to alleged incident of sexual abuse from 1998.

Suspended Avon View High School principal Douglas Robert Keyes has pled not guilty to a string of sexual assault-related allegations that stem back to 1998.

Keyes is facing 16 charges, ranging from sexual touching to using a computer to commit a crime. He is also up on one charge of breach of release conditions for allegedly meeting with a Crown witness in January. None of the charges laid against Keyes have been proven in court.

High-profile defence attorney Joel Pink entered not guilty pleas to all charges on Keyes’ behalf in Windsor provincial court March 27, and elected trial by jury. The trial has been pencilled in for Oct. 22 to Oct. 26 in Windsor provincial court.

Keyes, of Gypsum Mines, was charged in relation to an alleged 1998 sexual assault Dec. 16, at the age of 51. He was initially charged with sexual assault, sexual touching, breach of trust, using a computer system with the intent to commit an offence and producing a false document.

The sexual assault charges against Keyes originated from complaints a male in his mid-20s filed with local RCMP in November. The identity of the complainant, a former Windsor Regional High School student, is banned from publication.

Keyes, a former Windsor Regional High School staff member who became the principal of Avon View in 2009, has been released on bail, but spent the one night in jail in mid-January after he was arrested for allegedly breaching the conditions of an undertaking. Keyes’ mother offered up a $10,000 surety and agreed to have Keyes reside with her in East Chester upon his release from custody. Keyes has been court-ordered to steer clear of the complainant, and Crown witnesses.

 In response to the accusations against Keyes, the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board placed the high school principal on paid administrative leave while the case is before the courts and issued a statement indicating the board’s intent to cooperate with police investigations.

 “Our primary concern is… the safety and well-being of our students,” the board said in a prepared statement.

 It is alleged that the bulk of the offenses Keyes has been accused of occurred in Hants County, Lunenburg Country and the Halifax-area between 1998 and 2002. The computer-related charges date back to 2009.

Organizations: Suspended Avon View High School, Windsor Regional High School, RCMP Annapolis Valley Regional School Board

Geographic location: East Chester, Hants County, Lunenburg Country Halifax

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