Former teacher's third trial for sex crimes wraps up in Iqaluit
Horne to learn molesting verdict in March
Ed Horne broke decades of silence Jan. 24 when he testified in his own defence in an Iqaluit courtroom.
Clutching three holy books – the Bible, the Qur'an and the Torah – Horne insisted he's not guilty of 10 sex-related offences that date as far back as 1977.
"I did not commit the crimes I was accused of in this indictment," Horne said.
Four complainants, who cannot be named, allege Horne forced them to engage in oral and anal sex while Horne lived in Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Sanikiluaq and Kimmirut.
During a sometimes heated cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Judy Chan tried to portray the former teacher as someone who used the respect and trust of his students to lure them into committing sex acts.
Chan suggested Horne would pull students from class and take them to his office or teacher's lounge to molest them.
Three times Chan asked Horne: "You would give [the teachers] any excuse right?" Each time Horne replied: "It didn't happen."
One witness testified in October that Horne dressed students up in women's underwear, tuxedos and wedding dresses and took photographs of them in a school shower.
Under questioning by defence lawyer Tom Boyd, Horne said he would have been caught if he had done such a thing in a high-traffic area of the school. He also said he could not have hidden such clothing in the school.
"I believe the presence of any of those articles would have caused a commotion," Horne said.
A complainant also alleged in October that Horne would send his wife and two children out of his home, then invite several boys there to watch pornographic movies for two to three hours at a time. Horne scoffed at such a notion.
"Any suggestion that an Inuit woman would be ordered out of her house with one or two small children in an Arctic blizzard… that wouldn't happen," he said.
In closing arguments heard Jan. 25, Boyd told Judge Robert Kilpatrick the Crown should have sought corroboration for the offenses that are alleged to have happened in public places.
He suggested the four men are motivated by desire to get a piece of any compensation package arising from a civil suit filed by 69 of Horne's previous victims against the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
"The Crown has not overcome the presumption of innocence," Boyd said. "There is nothing in the accused's evidence that should cause your honour to disbelieve it."
But Chan said Horne is toying with the justice system by explaining away Crown theories about how he concealed his alleged offences.
"He never quite gives a straight answer to many of the questions that are posed to him," she said. "[The alleged victims] listened to him, they trusted him, they respected him. In other words [they were] the perfect victims."
Judge Robert Kilpatrick said he "will not rush to judgment" in the case and will give his verdict in March.
Meanwhile, Horne will return to Toronto, where he works as a bike courier.
Once again the courtroom was the scene of heavy security, with a sheriff and RCMP officer stationed inside the courtroom.
Spectators were asked to store coats and bags in a locked room. But there was no repeat of incidents in October, when passers-by heckled Horne during breaks.
As he waited Jan. 25 outside the courthouse for a taxi to the airport, Horne was asked to predict Kilpatrick's verdict.
"I don't know," he said.