Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

John Howard Society ED faces sexual assault charges

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The executive director of the John Howard Society of Manitoba is accused of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16, court documents show.

William John Hutton, 54, faces three charges for alleged offences that occurred between Dec. 1, 2009 and Jan. 2, 2013 in the RM of St. Francois Xavier.

The RCMP in Headingley made the initial arrest.

Records show Hutton made his first court appearance more than a year ago, and is due back in court May 29 in Winnipeg.

The charges laid were sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation. One of the charges alleges the accused "did for a sexual purpose touch (the victim), a person under the age of 16, directly or indirectly with a part of his body, to wit his hands and his lips."

The John Howard Society runs programs that help male offenders reintegrate into society after they have completed their sentences.

Acting executive-director Kate Kehler confirmed Hutton is on a paid leave, due to a legal matter.

"As a social justice organization, the John Howard Society of Manitoba must uphold the principle of innocent until proven guilty in a court," Kehler said.

Hutton had been the executive director for at least five years, she confirmed.

History

Updated on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM CDT: Adds quotes from acting executive director.

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