Suspended Avon View High School principal Douglas Keyes says allegations that he sexually assaulted a former student are completely false.
Keyes, 52, is on administrative leave from his position with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board while he answers to charges of sexual assault that stem from incidents the complainant, a 27-year-old man, alleges occurred between 1998 and 2002 in Hants, Lunenburg and Halifax counties.
In his testimony given in Windsor provincial court Jan. 4, Keyes said the complainant’s claims that the two wrestled, drank and watched porn together when the complainant was a 14-year-old Windsor Regional High School student, and Keyes was his guidance counsellor, are not true.
Keyes told the court the complainant did not visit his home in Gypsum Mines or Cottage in Chester until he was in his late teens, and no longer in school.
Keyes pleaded guilty to a charge of breach of trust last fall for falsifying the complainant’s Grade 9 transcript to help him pass, but he denied allegations that the two engaged in sexual activity. He has yet to be sentenced on the breach of trust charge.
Keyes said he helped the complainant, and two male students that moved in when he bought his home in 2000, by providing them with money and a place to stay. He said he paid for their gas, helped with homework and bought a vehicle for one of them.
The complainant, whose identity is banned from publication, admitted to keeping in contact with Keyes, who once supplied him with $800 at a time, for financial reasons while presenting his testimony in court on Oct. 26, 2012.
He said he met Keyes upon being sent to see the guidance counsellor in Grade 7, and alleged he was fondled by Keyes while the pair engaged in a wrestling match at Keyes’ cottage at the end of that same school year. He claimed they had been drinking at the time.
The complainant told the court he frequently visited Keyes at home, his cottage or a hotel in Halifax, and he alleged their sexual encounters later progressed to involve mutual masturbation and oral sex.
Keyes’ defence lawyer, Joel Pink, made the court aware of the complainant’s criminal record, which includes uttering threats, assault, fraud and theft of Keyes’ credit card, in his cross examination.
Pink also suggested the complainant is a heavy drug user, but the complainant denied this claim.
In answering Pink’s questions, the complainant admitted to asking Keyes for money in November 2011. Keyes was charged with the offences in question in December 2011.
Pink suggested the complainant pressed charges because Keyes was no longer willing to give him money.
Two of the four witnesses that took to the stand following the complainant were young men who previously lived with Keyes. Both testified that they had never been involved with Keyes sexually, watched porn, engaged in under-aged drinking or consumed drugs in his presence.
The lawyers have until Feb. 15 to present their written submissions to Judge Alan Tufts.
Tufts is expected to render a verdict April 8.