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Former family services supervisor pleads not guilty to sex-related charges

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A former Ontario family services supervisor who worked on a First Nations community has pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges involving Winnipeg girls.

The accused, 62, appeared in Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench today to formally deny seven charges he faces, including sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching and obstruction of justice relating to three suspected victims, two of whom were under age 16.

His trial is expected to last more than three weeks. The incidents occurred between January-November 2010. He is presumed innocent.

A publication ban ordered by Justice Albert Clearwater prohibits publishing information which could tend to identify the victims.

The Crown is currently seeking to have the videotaped police statement made by a now-19-year-old woman admitted as evidence against the man.

In October 2010, she was 16 and came forward to the Ontario Provincial Police saying that a man she knew as a former social worker had inappropriately touched her leg several times during a car ride from her First Nations community to Winnipeg just two weeks before.

She was not in care at the time, she told police.

During the car ride, she says the man told her how pretty she was, and that he was her "sugar daddy."

She told police how several times in the months leading up to this, the man came to visit her at her mother's Winnipeg home and would give her cash, telling her if she needed help to come to him. In the past, she had accepted several rides from him without issue.

Things took on a more sinister tone during the ride, she said. He made comments about "going to his hotel room and getting me drunk," she told police, "How if I got with him, like, he was going to buy me everything," she told police.

Twice between Sioux Narrows and Kenora he stopped in random places and asked if she wanted him to get alcohol, she said.

"I was scared. I didn't know what to do," she told OPP. She texted a friend what was happening during the car ride, she said.

Prosecutor Debbie Buors tendered two booklets of phone records relating to the case, but it's unknown yet if or how they play into the girl's story.

After her statement was played in court, the girl testified she was telling the truth and didn't lie to police about her story.

Defence lawyer Ryan Amy will cross-examine her this afternoon.


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