Court gag protects name of accused molester
Kimmirut man accused of assaulting 13 children can’t be named in the media
The Nunavut Court of Justice has put a gag order on publishing or broadcasting the name of an accused child molester from Kimmirut.
The 39-year-old man made his first court appearance on April 28 in Iqaluit, on charges of sexually assaulting 13 children in the early 1980s.
The man sat silently, wearing orange-tinted glasses, a dark blue T-shirt and tear-away gym pants, while his lawyers argued to protect his identity. He looked back several times at the gallery during the few minutes he was in court.
The victims, now adults, were between the ages of seven and 14 when the man is alleged to have assaulted them.
Crown attorney Myriam Girard agreed with defence lawyer Andy Mahar that the accused man’s identity should be protected in order to protect the identity of the complainants.
“Considering the size of the community… that ban should apply to my client’s name as well,” Mahar said of a standard publication ban on reporting the victims’ identitities that the court also applied.
Justice Earl Johnson then ordered the ban on publishing the accused man’s name, then scheduled another court date for the following day.
Police laid 13 sexual assault charges against the man on Feb. 27, based on interviews with dozens of residents of Kimmirut.
He also faces multiple charges of sexual interference, choking or drugging victims, unlawfully being in a dwelling place, and breaking probation orders.
Const. Michel Ducharme said she began an investigation after one man came forward with a complaint against the accused.
Ducharme said she then spoke with other men in the community, who alleged that they too were assaulted by the man when he was a teenager in 1982 and 1983.
“These were all kids at the time. They were all adults when they came to me,” Ducharme said in a recent phone interview. “One did speak up. I had to approach these people one by one. They kept this secret for a long time. I asked them and some of them decided they would say something.”
At the accused man’s recent court appearance, the Crown withdrew six of the charges, but did not clarify which ones.