Suspended Kentville paramedic accused of sex crimes told police he's 'not some sick predator'

Live Blog James Keats Trial: Nov. 20 and 21

Published on November 21, 2014

James Duncan Keats, 48, was in provincial court Sept. 29 the start of a two-day trial focusing on alleged sexual assaults involving a Mount Uniacke woman.

©Ashley Thompson - Hants Journal

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story contains details of graphic testimony some readers might find offensive. 

WINDSOR – A suspended Kentville paramedic accused of sexually assaulting a senior citizen opened up to police officers during a videotaped interrogation, claiming the alleged victim made the first move.

James Duncan Keats, who is on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a Mount Uniacke woman on two occasions — once in her home and once in the back of an ambulance — admitted to police on May 31, 2013 that he had sexual relations with her. 

For the majority of the eight hours of video footage capturing Keats’ statements to police following his arrest in May 2013, Keats insisted he “did nothing wrong” while tending to a 71-year-old woman in her bedroom the day paramedics were called to her home to help her husband after a fall.

The video is part of a voir dire and judge Claudine MacDonald has not yet decided whether it as admissible as evidence. 

Initially, Keats told the cops he held the woman’s hand and hugged her upon noting that she seemed to be overwhelmed with life.

About 90 minutes following the initial interrogation, Keats asked to speak to the police to give his side of the story.

The portion of the interrogation video shown in Windsor provincial court Nov. 21 revealed a much different side of the story than what Keats had initially said. 

Keats said the woman wanted to lie down, so he followed her upstairs to check her vitals.

In the bedroom, Keats said the woman started lamenting about how hard life was, they “commiserated, “ and he noticed she was having trouble breathing. Keats said he checked her vitals, and told her that she had “beautiful breasts” for her age during the exam.

Then, Keats said, things escalated from there.

“She touched my groin,” he said. “I was kinda stunned.”

He said the woman asked if she "could see it" because she hadn't been intimate in a long time. He noted he also hadn't had sexual relations in a while.

Keats said the woman, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, stroked his penis until he ejaculated while she fondled herself.

He told the police that he was “not some sick predator.”

The cop in the video encouraged Keats to provide more details, asking questions about his ejaculate and his genitals.

The police officer continued asking questions, and said a sexual assault kit was conducted. He said the woman suffered some trauma to her vaginal region and asked Keats several times if he penetrated her.

"My penis is not overly large," said Keats, noting he didn't feel it could cause trauma to the woman's vagina.

Keats denied performing oral sex on the woman, as well as denied having vaginal or anal sex with her. After more questioning, Keats said it was possible his penis could have touched her vagina at some point as he was trying not to watch as she was manually stimulating him.

Keats said he was “truly sorry” that he “wasn't strong enough to walk away from that lady."

The police officer then questioned whether Keats remembered treating the woman in the back of an ambulance in 2012. He said he didn't have any recollection of that interaction. The woman alleges he fondled her during that ambulance ride.

Click here to read a summary of the woman’s testimony.

Keats went into great detail of proper protocols and procedures to follow when dealing with a patient, noting paramedics are not allowed to “digitally examine a vagina."

As the second interrogation video ended, court adjourned for lunch. After court resumed at 1:45 p.m., the Crown called four witnesses following the morning session.

The witnesses, all RCMP officers, were questioned about their dealings with Keats between the time he was arrested and when he was remanded.

The defence lawyer called one witness, a legal aid lawyer who gave Keats advice following his arrest.

The voir dire hearing will continue Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.